Scottish Place Names
- Dunedin, New Zealand

The name Dunedin itself is of course derived from Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, the two cities having been officially twinned since 1974. Founded by the Presbyterian Free Church of Scotland in 1848, the city has retained much of its Scots heritage, as this article demonstrates. Of the names of Greater Dunedin's 78 suburbs, 39 (50.0%) can be found in Scotland or are connected with Scotland in other ways, such as family names. Of course, some of the names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well, but most of them (43.6 %) are unique to Scotland or are readily identifiable with places in Scotland that are based on the same names.

The picture here is of Dunedin Railway Station, New Zealand, via Wikipedia.

Official suburbs and other localities with names that occur only in Scotland and not elsewhere in the British Isles, and/or are definitely or most probably of Scottish origin are:

The following localities are based on names that can be found in Scotland but these names are also used in other parts of the British Isles:

Princes Street, EdinburghThe strong Scottish influence on the development of Dunedin is further attested by the names of several parks, reserves and golf courses in and around the city such as Balmacewan Golf Course, Bathgate Park, Bethune's Gully, Burns Park Scenic Reserve, Chisholm Park Golf Course, Frasers Gully, Glenfalloch, Leith Valley Scenic Reserve, Logan Park, Mount Cargill Scenic Reserve, Ross Creek, St Clair Golf Course and Woodhaugh Gardens. Another reminder of Dunedin's close connection with Scotland and with Edinburgh in particular is the name given to the creek to the immediate north of the city centre - Water of Leith. In fact, so close is the link with Edinburgh that two of the main roads through the city centre, Princes Street (the Edinburgh original is seen here) and George Street, recall their namesakes in Edinburgh. These thoroughfares bisect Moray Place (another name from Edinburgh) and the Octagon (with its statue of Robert Burns) in the very heart of Dunedin.

Even a cursory glance at a street map of Dunedin demonstrates just how Scottish is this city, with easily around 30% to 40% of its city and suburban streets bearing Scottish names. In the city centre alone, the list of streets with Scottish names includes Albany Street, Canongate, Cargill Street, Clyde Street, Crawford Street, Drummond Street, Dunbar Street, Duncan Street, Dundas Street, Forth Street, Grant Street, Leith Street, Logan Street, MacLaggan Street, McMillan Street, Rattray Street, Scotland Street, St Andrew Street, Stuart Street and Sutherland Street, in addition to Princes Street, George Street and Moray Place already mentioned. Dunedin celebrates its Scots roots by staging a Scottish Week every September.

Dunedin is highly likely to be the only city in the world outside of Scotland where around 50% of the suburbs have names that can also be found in Scotland. This is an enduring legacy of the pivotal role that Scots settlers played in the establishment of Dunedin in 1848 and in its subsequent development to become New Zealand's fourth largest city- see First Scots in New Zealand.


© Ian Kendall
Melbourne, Australia, April 2004
(Revised July 2007)

If you wish to contact Ian about his research, his e-mail address is

Use the "Back" button on your browser or click here to return to the Index of Scottish Place Names

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

Separator line