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Thread: Sabbatical in Dunedin Jan - June 2015

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    Davis, CA, United States
    Posts
    3

    Default Sabbatical in Dunedin Jan - June 2015

    Hi,

    In advance - thanks for your comments/help!

    We are moving to Dunedin on sabbatical - and perhaps for more.
    My wife will be at the University of Otago, and my 13yr old son in school for at least one term (beginning February).

    Any advice on a number of issues would be helpful.

    1) Schools? My son Cedric is a advanced GATE student here in California. McGlashan vs? Are there fun alternatives?

    2) Neighborhoods? Maori Hill vs ? Being close to work and school would be nice (we bike now), but places like Portobello and Company Bay appeal from afar.

    3) Short term (6 month) house rental - Realtors I have contacted so far say they do not do less than yearly leases (even though prices are quoted weekly). Any suggestion on best places or ways to find housing?

    3) Vehicle? Is it better to buy and sell in Auckland, Christchurch, or Dunedin? We plan to do a lot of touring. Any suggestions on type or how to sell after ~6 months?

    4) Stuff to bring? I have considered everything from a suitcase to a container (I am a private pilot with a homebuilt seaplane and would love to bring it). Container at ~$5,000 each way (Oakland - Christchurch) seems impractical.

    Cheers and Thanks Again!
    Owen Hughes
    Last edited by dunedinsabbatic; 18th September 2014 at 09:25 AM. Reason: not done

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Blenheim
    Posts
    1,545

    Default

    We have lived in Dunedin from 2005 to 2008, so it is a while ago, but two sons still attend uni down there...

    Personally I find St.Clair a nice suburb, Andersons Bay, too- you need to make sure that you find a place with good sun exposure. I have a friend in Dunedin who considers maori Hill as one of the coldest suburbs. Portobello and Company are pretty nice, it is a relatively narrow and windy road to get there, but it seems to appear less long and windy if you go there on a regular basis :-) Lots of people do bike along that road, too, there are stretches which are very narrow, although they are in the process of putting a walk/ bike track in alongside the road.

    Have a look at King's High School- although it is in one of the poorest suburbs, its reputation has increased a lot in the last years due to a very good principal. Our boys have attended it before that time and even then we thought it was a very good school..., depending on what you are looking for. They had started a 'gifted and talented program' when our youngest son was in year 9.
    I am sure there are different opinions, and others will come up with other advice.

    The 6 months contract might be a problem, maybe you would be able to find someone who rents a place out as a holiday home and would be willing to agree on a longer term stay? For 6 months I wouldn't bring more than suitcases, I suppose.., but that's just me :-)

    Good luck, I am sure there will be lots of advice coming your way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Dunedin, NZ
    Posts
    19

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    Hi Owen,

    Take a look at the uni bulletin board for rentals (http://www.otago.ac.nz/otagobulletin...let/index.html).

    If you're keen to cycle, it might be worth checking out a contour map before fixing on a location as Dunedin is very hilly (http://www.topomap.co.nz/NZTopoMap/n.../DUNEDIN/Otago). That said, there's lots of us that cycle. St Clair / south Dunedin make that easy, Opoho is great for the uni but you might have to push your bike for 5 mins on your way home depending on how fit you are . Portabello would be too far out for me, bit of an arduous journey whenever you want to do anything, but other places nearer to town on the peninsular or port line are nice too. I think most folk I know in Maori hill / Roslyn walk or drive in to work.

    Vehicle - its a long drive from Auckland We're about 4-5 hrs drive from Chch - doesn't look far on the map but we don't have a widespread network of big motorways so driving takes time. I don't think you should find any problems picking up a second hand car in Dunedin so long as you're not too fixated on a particular model. Second hand cars hold their price remarkably well here (at least compared to the UK anyway) so expect to pay more rather than less and I'm guessing you should be able to re-coop that when you sell it on.

    Good luck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5

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    Quote Originally Posted by dunedinsabbatic View Post
    Hi,

    In advance - thanks for your comments/help!

    We are moving to Dunedin on sabbatical - and perhaps for more.
    My wife will be at the University of Otago, and my 13yr old son in school for at least one term (beginning February).

    Any advice on a number of issues would be helpful.

    1) Schools? My son Cedric is a advanced GATE student here in California. McGlashan vs? Are there fun alternatives?

    2) Neighborhoods? Maori Hill vs ? Being close to work and school would be nice (we bike now), but places like Portobello and Company Bay appeal from afar.

    3) Short term (6 month) house rental - Realtors I have contacted so far say they do not do less than yearly leases (even though prices are quoted weekly). Any suggestion on best places or ways to find housing?

    3) Vehicle? Is it better to buy and sell in Auckland, Christchurch, or Dunedin? We plan to do a lot of touring. Any suggestions on type or how to sell after ~6 months?

    4) Stuff to bring? I have considered everything from a suitcase to a container (I am a private pilot with a homebuilt seaplane and would love to bring it). Container at ~$5,000 each way (Oakland - Christchurch) seems impractical.

    Cheers and Thanks Again!
    Owen Hughes
    I hardly ever post here, so I hope I am doing this correctly! My husband and I have lived in the St. Clair neighborhood of Dunedin for about 3 years. Previously, he was here for two years on his own and lived downtown (while I stayed in California and visited NZ when I could).
    I also highly recommend St. Clair. We live on top of the hill and have a views of the ocean, harbor all the way to Taiaroa Head, and the surrounding mountains (such as Mt. Cargill). Yet we are just a 12 minute walk from the beach (where a lovely outdoor pool is open 6 months of the year), a 7-minute drive from Tunnel Beach, and a 10- to 12-minute drive to the Octagon/Dunedin Hospital or the nearby University, should we feel like going to a movie, concert, restaurants, or the museums, or a 10-minute drive to the start of the Otago Peninsula, should we feel like hiking or looking at wildlife.
    A Countdown supermarket is about an 8-minute drive away.
    St. Clair Beach is home to several restaurants. The neighborhood also has a Four Square (like a mini-mart) and a butcher, salons and a few other small businesses. The St. Clair bus runs all the way from St. Clair to the University, probably takes about 20 minutes. I take the bus often, but at midday, so I couldn't tell you if it takes longer at commute hours. Many people in this neighborhood bike to work. There have been some terrible bike accidents in Dunedin, but the city has been working on making it safer by bicyclists and has been creating more bike lanes.
    Dunedin gets cold, but you'll get used to it and feel more comfortable after you've acquired some merino clothing.
    There are so many expats here. I know of at least two social clubs for expat women who meet up one morning a week. Plus, there are photographic clubs, tramping clubs, etc.
    Portobello and Company Bay are also nice. But St. Clair is more convenient and closer in, yet it is far enough from the city center that it's quiet.
    I wouldn't bring too much stuff for six months. Is the university paying for moving costs, such as excess luggage? Can't they help you with a rental car?
    I highly recommend this furnished 2-bedroom place. Ask them about long term rental rates. http://www.holidayhouses.co.nz/properties/13471.asp

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Davis, CA, United States
    Posts
    3

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    Thanks for the great replies!!

    We found a wonderful place in St. Clair almost on the beach. The area looks beautiful. We'll be there in a week!

    Our son has applications in to McGlashan, King's and Bayfield (hard to tell just from web but I think he's leaning to Bayfield).

    We haven't found a car yet - getting a Trademe account from the US was hard (you have to register via a NZ IP address or get special permission.) We are hoping to do a lot of weekend touring, so we're looking for a small campervan. I'm intrigued by the long ther rental suggestions. Who rents long term (6 month) and cheap?

    Now we are trying to pick banks, phone, internet, etc. Any suggestions? I've read ASB has good customer satisfaction and fee free 6 month accounts.

    Cheers,
    Owen

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,000

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    Sounds all good so far - happy travels and a safe arrival.

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