Port Chalmers New Zealand information. Port Chalmers accommodation and hotel booking, travel, tours, activities and things to do. Events, maps and news for Port Chalmers NZ.
South Island map showing Port Chalmers
Port
Chalmers

Port Chalmers

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.

Port Chalmers Main Street

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".

Port Chalmers container port and cruise ship

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 with Iona Church


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Featured Port Chalmers Events

Li'l Chuck with Craig Smith  Stories, Songs and a Stompin' Port Chalmers Pool Community BBQ
Li'l Chuck with Craig Smith Stories, Songs and a Stompin'
Carey's Bay Hotel, Dunedin
Friday 29 September 2017
Port Chalmers Pool Community BBQ
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Saturday 23 September 2017

Port Chalmers News

 20 Sep 2017 

Otago Daily Times
Mother in 'panic mode'
Otago Daily Times
was now considering moving him to another school in Port Chalmers, where the bus would take him directly from St Leonards to the school gate. DNI was the closest school offering years 7 and 8. It was chosen because of the bus service and the direct ...

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