The world's steepest street could be your next Instagram-worthy destination

The world's steepest street could be your next Instagram-worthy destination
PHOTO: @ding_jen/Instagram

If you ever go to New Zealand, be sure to stop by Baldwin Street to take an Instagram picture that is sure to make your followers do a double take.

This humble little street in a residential estate in Dunedin has become an unlikely tourist attraction because photos taken on the street create an optical illusion.

When photos of the houses on the street are taken at an angle, they look like they're sinking into the ground.

In actual fact, people are enchanted by the houses' unconventional architecture that accommodates a crazy 1:3 gradient on the world's steepest residential street.

Tucked away in a university town in the south island of New Zealand, Baldwin Street makes California's Lombard Street seem like a mere gentle slope.

While the straight stretch is no longer than 350 metres, it rises from 30 metres above sea level from the bottom to 100 metres above sea level at the top. This means that for every 2.86 metres travelled horizontally, the elevation rises by 1 metre.

According to, the street is so steep that it had to be paved with concrete instead of asphalt because the tar in the asphalt would melt and flow down the incline during hot summers.

Since being listed in the Guinness Book of Record's, Dunedin has attracted hundreds of tourists a day and has even become a stopping point for international cruise ships.

Not only has it attracted tourists, Baldwin Street has also drawn daredevils that would trike, bike or slide down the slope. 

Every year, there is an exercise event called Baldwin Street Gutbuster which requires competitors to run from the base of the street to the top and back down again.

In late July, there is an annual charity Jaffa Race and this year, it attracted a 15,000-strong crowd and saw 75,000 chocolate balls roll down the street. 

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