Dunedin’s Baldwin Street reinstated as world’s steepest street

Promoted as the world’s steepest street tourists flocked to Baldwin Street for years n Dunedin, New Zealand, until last year when Ffordd Pen Llech in the Welsh town of Harlech was awarded the title by the Guinness World Records.

A Dunedin surveyor Toby Stott disputed the steepness measurement of Ffordd Pen Llech, researched it and even traveled to Harlech to check it out. He found that the windy Ffordd Pen Llech had been measured  on the steeper inside of it’s curves. He then convinced Guinness World Records that the Welsh street hadn’t been measured correctly so Baldwin Street has regained the steepest street title.

<em>Baldwin Street, New Zealand</em>

Baldwin Street, New Zealand

There won’t be any tourists visiting for a while though, with New Zealand in lockdown for the Covid-19 virus.

Guinness World Records: Baldwin Street in New Zealand reinstated as the world’s steepest street

Baldwin street previously held the record for over a decade until June 2019, when the record was awarded to Ffordd Pen Llech, in Harlech, Wales.

The decision to reinstate the previous record holder was reached following the completion of an extensive review of an appeal, brought by representatives of Baldwin Street.

The appeal, led by Toby Stoff, included a comparative survey of the three-dimensional shapes of the Dunedin street and Ffordd Pen Llech.

The findings revealed that in order to fairly assess the different shape of the streets, whether they’re straight or curved, steepness must be measured by the central axis (the centre line of the road).

Following a thorough review, as well as consulting with industry specialists, it was concluded that for the steepest street (road) record title, the best practice for the gradient is to take the measurement from the centreline of the street.

Accordingly, GWR’s record guidelines will no longer allow measurements from any other axis.

The new results confirmed Baldwin Street has the steeper gradient of 34.8%, compared to Ffordd Pen Llech’s gradient of 28.6%.

In addition to amending the record’s guidelines to include measuring the gradient from the centreline of the street, the guidelines for this record now accept measurement provided by a local, national or international measurement professional.

The incorrect measurement of Ffordd Pen Llech put it’s gradient at 37.5% (1:2.86) Coming down to 28.6% is a big difference just be remeasuring in the centre of the street rather than the steeper inside of the curves.

Baldwin Street is on the other side of Signal Hill to where I live. I used to travel almost daily down Dunedin’s fifth steepest street,  (until the lockdown) – Jesse Street (1:3.6) is actually relatively safe to drive down in the winter (it’s one way) in frosty and snowy weather because it’s straight and has no cars parked on it.

Baldwin Street seen a bit differently: Different angle to Baldwin Street

Baldwin Street has become an unlikely tourist attraction, after people have shared photos on social media of a bizarre optical illusion. Photo / @kasparschiesser Instagram

As well as tourists, idiots are also attracted to Baldwin Street. A student was killed in 2001 going down the street in a wheelie bin, but that doesn’t deter other idiots.

David Clark lives near Baldwin Street (within 2 km) but I don’t think he will be visiting there while he’s in isolation.

From last year when Ffordd Pen Llech was awarded the title:




Leave a comment


  1. Gezza

     /  9th April 2020

    I told the bros.

  2. Blazer

     /  9th April 2020

    A steep,learning curve for….wails.

  3. duperez

     /  9th April 2020

    I thought Toby Stott was pushing shit up hill to get a reversal.

  4. Zedd

     /  9th April 2020

    Otepoti/Dn the ‘best little city in the world’ 🙂
    > now reinstated with #1 steepest street… as we always knew.. YAHOO !

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  9th April 2020

      (smugly) But of course….

      Friends lived in Mechanic St which is nearly as steep, so walking down it when there was frost on the pavement was a bit of a challenge. Not as much as the shortcut alley where we lived in Bath which was a skating rink from November till May. It was shaded so was iced over.

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  9th April 2020

    The unpaved 4wd track to the top of the little hill behind our cabins is seriously steep just before the top. I don’t know what the gradient is but it’s a bit of a white knuckle ride and everything in the back of the ute falls to the back. Luckily the ground is too rocky to get very muddy there. It’s flat at the top with enough room to turn around so you don’t have to come back down backwards. I mostly just drive up there to spray weeds and gorse but had a cell phone repeater there originally.

    • Gezza

       /  9th April 2020

      I remember it well, Al.

      One of the first things I did when staying @ the cabins, just after sunrise, & before anybody else woke & got up, was walk up to the top & take a 360° panning video clip of the great views from up there.

      Think it’s one of the first scenes in that movie I made that you downloaded.


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