Port Chalmers is an historic township roughly twenty minutes' drive from the centre of Dunedin city.
The port was established because larger ships cannot into the city sail through the shallow waters of
Otago Harbour. Port Chalmers is the docking point for visiting cruises ships.
Port Chalmers is where Dunedin's founding ships the John Wickliffe and the Philip Laing anchored in 1848.
In 1846 Charles Kettle surveyed the area to become the deep water port for the adjoining Otago Association
settlement which became Dunedin. Port Chalmers was
named after Scottish Free Church leader Rev. Thomas Chalmers.
In 1882, the ship Dunedin left Port Chalmers, embarking on the first refrigerated voyage. The ship
successfully carried 5000 frozen animals and 250 kegs of butter to London; the other side of the world. This
was New Zealand's first meat export, today a major part of the country's economy.
The thriving export industry in Port Chalmers led to a very prosperous latter part of the 19th Century.
Many of the town's ornate historic buildings date from this period. These were often were built from the
locally quarried stone known as "Port Chalmers Breccia".
Today the township is known for its arts and culture; with various cafes, galleries and quirky shops
dotting the main street of the town along with Chick's Hotel, an iconic performance location for Dunedin
musicians and touring bands.
Above the township is what is known as the town belt, a planned area of bush that hugs the township. The
belt boasts various walking tracks to places such The Lady Thorne Rhododendron Dell as well as the track that
leads to the Scott memorial. Captain Scott left for his Antarctic expedition to the South Pole from Port
Chalmers in 1910. Scott and his crew tragically died on the return journey.
Port Chalmers News
Otago Daily Times
Claim Aurora facing $1b billOtago Daily TimesCompany to stop Carisbrook work · Bags of household rubbish discarded in the Port Chalmers green belt, below Church St, · Council vows tougher stance on dumping · Lorraine and Steve Hawkins feed chickens on their property near Alexandra. Photo by ...