Let’s get the mundane facts about Baldwin Street out of the way first. This 350-metre stretch of road in Dunedin, New Zealand is recognised by the Guinness World Records as the world’s steepest street. Its official maximum gradient is 19 degrees (though there are little bits that are 21 degrees); in other words, the ground rises a metre for every 2.86 metres you cover horizontally. You might be able to find another place or two with a slightly steeper slope, but it isn’t in the records.
The inclusion of roads like Baldwin Street that lead up the rugged slopes of Signal Hill was entirely intentional. In the mid-19th Century, Charles Kettle surveyed Dunedin and designed its city plan based on the widely-admired layout of Edinburgh New Town. Kettle died before the bold plans were realised, but a mining and farming boom ensured that they became reality.
A remarkable location comes with remarkable events, like the Jaffa Race and the Gutbuster (more details below). It’s tempting to grab a GoPro and do something even crazier, so here’s a reminder that one student died and another suffered serious injuries when they rode a wheelie bin down the slope in 2001.