The Best and Worst Suburbs in Dunedin

Are you moving to Dunedin? There are definitely some more and less desirable neighborhoods to choose from! Some suburbs are best for students, and some are more suitable for families. If you are considering buying a home in Dunedin, selecting the right location is even more important.

St. Clair, Roslyn, and Maori Hill are some of the most sought-after suburbs in Dunedin. A few suburbs (like South Dunedin and Brockville) present challenges like higher crime rates, lower quality of housing, and limited access to amenities. For upscale living, Maori Hill, Roslyn, and Belleknowes have the highest property prices and offer a luxurious lifestyle.

In this post, we dive deep into each suburb’s distinct features, including the lifestyle, community spirit, recreational opportunities, and local attractions. Whether you’re a prospective resident or looking for an investment property in the right neighborhood in Dunedin, our comprehensive exploration will equip you with valuable insights and help you make informed decisions. Check out house prices in Dunedin.

Also, read the post on the Pros and Cons of living in Dunedin.

Overview of the suburbs in Dunedin

“North of Dunedin”

Dunedin, located in the southern region of Otago in New Zealand, is a city known for its picturesque landscapes, vibrant culture, student life, and diverse neighborhoods. Dunedin is a mid-sized city and has a population of 126,255 as of Census 2018.

Some of the most favorable locations include St. Clair, Roslyn, and Maori Hill, areas boast stunning scenery, charming residential streets, and convenient amenities. With their proximity to the beach, vibrant cafes, and top-rated schools, these suburbs offer an exceptional quality of life.

St. Clair

St. Clair is situated on the coast, just a few kilometers southwest of Dunedin’s city center. It offers stunning beach views and a relaxed coastal lifestyle. Hence, it’s also one of the most desirable places to live. The suburb is known for its beautiful sandy beach, lively esplanade, and iconic saltwater pool. 

St. Clair is a popular choice for families and retirees due to its peaceful atmosphere, access to amenities, and recreational opportunities. The area boasts a range of cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops.

While rental and house prices in St. Clair can be on the higher side, reflecting the desirability of the area, the quality of life and proximity to the beach make it a worthwhile investment. The average rent for a family house is between $500 and $650 per week.

Additionally, St. Clair has relatively low crime rates, making it a safe and secure neighborhood. The population of the suburb is 2,410 as of 2022, with a mix of families, professionals, and retirees residing in the area.

Overall, St. Clair offers a well-established suburb with a strong sense of community, combining the tranquility of coastal living with convenient access to the city center.


Nestled in the hills 2 kilometers to the west of Dunedin’s central business district, Mornington provides residents with elevated views of the city and harbor. It’s located on hilly slopes, hence, the suburb is known for its hilly terrain, which creates a distinct neighborhood character and offers easy access to various walking tracks and parks, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts

Mornington is popular among families and professionals who appreciate the peaceful surroundings and convenient amenities. The area has a good selection of shops, schools, and medical facilities. Rental and house prices in Mornington are generally affordable, with an average rental rate of $500 per week for a two-bedroom house.

It’s cheaper compared to some other suburbs in Dunedin, making it an attractive option for those seeking a balance between costs and quality of life. 

Mornington has average crime rates, with occasional incidents reported, but it remains a relatively safe place to live. The population of Mornington is 3,267 (according to the 2013 New Zealand census), primarily consisting of families and working professionals. 

These suburbs offer a conventional suburban lifestyle with easy access to the city. Its elevated location provides breathtaking views and a sense of tranquility, making it an appealing choice for residents seeking a peaceful retreat.

South Dunedin

Located 2.5 kilometers south of Dunedin’s city center, South Dunedin is a historic suburb situated on the coastal plain. The area is known for its diverse community, heritage architecture, and vibrant multicultural atmosphere. 

It’s home to various ethnic communities, contributing to its rich cultural fabric. However, it’s also a mix of industrial, retail, and mainly lower-quality residential properties. The suburb offers affordable housing options, making it attractive for students, working-class individuals, and families on a budget. 

South Dunedin has a range of amenities, including schools, shops, and recreational facilities. You will also find many pubs around. Rental and house prices in South Dunedin tend to be lower than some other suburbs in Dunedin, providing affordable accommodation options for residents. 

The average rent in South Dunedin is between $420 to $550 per week for a two-bedroom house as of July 2023. The suburb has a population of 2,460.

However, South Dunedin has slightly higher crime rates compared to other suburbs, mainly due to its higher population density. Despite this, it’s still considered safe overall.

This place offers a unique mix of affordability, multiculturalism, and accessibility to amenities, making it an attractive option for those seeking a diverse and vibrant neighborhood in Dunedin.


Maryhill is located about 4 km southwest of Dunedin’s city center, offering residents panoramic views of the city and surrounding hills. The suburb is known for its peaceful residential streets and close-knit community. 

It has a quieter and more suburban atmosphere compared to some of the busier areas in Dunedin. The rental and house prices in Maryhill are generally affordable, making it an attractive option for families and individuals looking for more affordable housing options. 

The average rent for a single-family house in Maryhill is between $450 and $600 weekly.

The area has a range of amenities, including schools, parks, and shopping centers. Crime rates in Maryhill are relatively low. The population of Maryhill is 2,277 as of the 2018 New Zealand census, with a mix of families, young professionals, and retirees. 

The suburb offers a tranquil and family-friendly environment, making it a desirable location for those seeking a quieter lifestyle while still being within easy reach of the city center.

Best Dunedin suburbs for home buyers

When it comes to buying a home in Dunedin, there are several suburbs that stand out as excellent options for home buyers. Here are the best suburbs in Dunedin for those looking to purchase a property, including insights into house prices and other home-buying factors.

1. Roslyn

Roslyn is a sought-after suburb located just northwest of Dunedin’s city center. It offers a mix of heritage and contemporary homes, with many properties boasting stunning views of the city and harbor. The suburb has convenient proximity to the CBD, reputable schools, and a range of amenities, including cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops. 

House prices in Roslyn can vary depending on the size, location, and condition of the property, where the median sale price in Roslyn is $945,000, up 6.2%, according to

Generally, the suburb tends to have a higher price range, reflecting its desirability and the panoramic views it offers.

2. Maori Hill

Maori Hill is another popular suburb among home buyers due to its prime location and attractive housing options. Situated to the east of Roslyn, Maori Hill is known for its tree-lined streets, elegant properties, and easy access to amenities. 

The suburb offers a mix of architectural styles, including charming villas and modern homes. The median sale price in Maori Hill is $840,000, down 15.9%, according to

House prices in Maori Hill tend to be higher compared to some other suburbs due to the upscale nature of the area and its proximity to top schools and recreational facilities.

3. Andersons Bay

Located southeast of the city center, Andersons Bay is a family-friendly suburb that appeals to home buyers seeking more affordable options. The suburb offers a range of housing styles, from compact cottages to spacious family homes. 

Andersons Bay provides easy access to amenities such as supermarkets, shops, and medical facilities. The median sale price in Andersons Bay is $660,000, down 6.4%, according to

House prices in Andersons Bay can be relatively affordable compared to some other suburbs, making it an attractive choice for first-time home buyers or those on a tighter budget.

4. Halfway Bush

Halfway Bush is a suburb northwest of Dunedin’s city center, offering a mix of established and newer homes. The area is known for its family-friendly atmosphere, good schools, and proximity to parks and recreational facilities. 

Over the last 12 months, the median sale price in Halfway Bush was only $535,000, down 11.9%, making it the least expensive place to buy on our list.

House prices in Halfway Bush are generally more affordable compared to some of the inner-city suburbs, making it an appealing option for families and individuals looking for cheaper housing.

Best areas to live in Dunedin for families

When it comes to finding the ideal place to live in Dunedin for families, there are several suburbs that offer a combination of family-friendly amenities, reputable schools, and a safe and welcoming environment.

Keep in mind that in New Zealand, children are assigned to the school in the neighborhood they live in, so choosing a good school first might be a better idea than shopping for a house in a particular suburb.

Maori Hills and Andersons Bay are two of the best choices for families. There are all the facilities you would need with a family, be it women or children. The healthcare and schooling facilities are also enough to cater to families living in the suburbs. In addition to these two, Wakari is also an adequate option for families. 

Families living in Maori Hill can have a look into Maori Hill School, which is considered to be a good elementary school. In Andersons Bay, you have Andersons Bay School and St Brigid’s School (primary school), among other options.

Wakari is a suburb located northwest of Dunedin’s city center and is often regarded as one of the best areas for families. The suburb boasts a range of housing options, including family homes with spacious yards and peaceful streets. 

Wakari has a strong sense of community and proximity to excellent schools, such as Wakari Primary School and Kaikorai Valley College. The area offers easy access to amenities, including parks, sports facilities, and local shops. Additionally, Wakari is conveniently located near Dunedin’s CBD, making commuting a breeze. 

Choosing the best area to live in Dunedin for families depends on individual preferences and requirements. You should visit different suburbs, research schools and childcare options, and consider factors such as proximity to amenities, community atmosphere, and housing affordability to make an informed decision that suits your specific needs.

Most expensive suburbs in Dunedin

Like any other city, Dunedin has its share of suburbs that command higher rental rates and property prices. In this section, we will explore some of the most expensive suburbs in Dunedin, giving insights into the rental rates and the factors contributing to their higher cost.

  • Roslyn: 

Roslyn is known for its panoramic views, proximity to amenities, and upscale housing options. The suburb offers a mix of heritage and contemporary homes, many of which boast stunning vistas of the city and harbor. Thanks to all the perks, it has the highest house prices.

  • Maori Hill: 

Situated north of Roslyn, Maori Hill is another suburb renowned for its exclusivity and higher cost of living. Maori Hill’s upscale reputation and desirable amenities contribute to its higher rental rates and property prices.

  • St. Clair: 

St. Clair is Dunedin’s most popular and desirable suburb, hence the high prices. This coastal suburb is known for its beautiful sandy beach, lively esplanade, and saltwater pool. The area attracts residents who appreciate the coastal lifestyle and the range of amenities it offers, including cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops. 

Due to its desirability and prime coastal location, rental rates and property prices in St. Clair tend to be higher compared to some other suburbs in Dunedin.

  • Woodhaugh: 

Woodhaugh, just north of the city center, is a leafy suburb with spacious properties and a tranquil environment. The peaceful ambiance and larger sections in Woodhaugh contribute to its higher rental rates and property prices.

As always, rental rates and property prices can vary within these suburbs depending on factors such as property size, condition, and location. The official website of the Tenancy Services of New Zealand provides up-to-date information on market rents for different suburbs in Dunedin, offering a comprehensive overview of the rental rates within the city.

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