Working and Living in Dunedin

Traveling the world and being a Physio has always been a passion of mine. I had worked in the NHS for 5 years and the time had finally come to make the decision of getting a mortgage or travel to New Zealand. Obviously, I chose the latter. 

I made the decision to put things into motion at the start of 2023 and with the help of Healthcare abroad I had 3 interviews dotted over the country. In the end I chose a private clinic in Dunedin which would open doors into different specialties of Physio such as Paediatrics and Neurology whilst also giving me the opportunity to maintain my MSK skills. I also chose Dunedin with it being in the South Island which I wanted. 

I finished work in the UK October of the same year and a week later I was on my way to New Zealand for the first time. I was incredibly lucky with getting set up, my employer sign posted me to an Airbnb to get started with and then a fellow colleague was about to rent out his spare room which I took advantage of. I had a week to get my feet on the ground and get my bearings with the city before starting work. 


Since arriving in Dunedin most people have asked me “Why Dunedin?”. It’s not exactly the first place you think of when you travel to New Zealand, especially on the South Island. Most would think about Christchurch or Queenstown as the place to go. Living here for the last 5 months Dunedin has a lot going for it. Although it is the 2nd largest city in the South Island it’s just the right size, it’s nothing compared to the size of cities back home in the UK which was ideal for me, coming from a little village in the countryside it was less overwhelming. 

There is a nice buzz to the center with some amazing places to eat, from Japanese to Turkish to classic New Zealand food. Additionally, if you like your beer Dunedin is home to 2 iconic Kiwi breweries; Emersons and Speights, along with many other microbreweries which are just as great such as Arc Brewing Co. and Noisy. Alternatively, if you want to get out of the city, it’ll only take you 10 minutes and you’re either in the hills looking over the city or you’re on one of many secluded beaches dotted along the peninsula. You’ve also got the opportunity to surf at St. Clair beach and access to some great mountain biking trails at Signal Hill.

Outside of work I’ve taken part in some open water swimming in Macandrew bay, completed my first back yard ultra in Silverstream and joined a Crossfit gym. Dunedin is home to some great wildlife, I’ve visited the Albatross center and joined an evening viewing of the rare Blue Penguins (Kororā), but if you head down to the local beach, you’re almost guaranteed to spot some Sea Lions. If you want even more you can easily travel down to the Caitlins within an hour or two to visit some beautiful waterfalls, walks and beaches. Or make a weekend trip to Central Otago to walk some of the great walks, climb mountains or get your adrenaline fix in Queenstown and Wanaka. You can do this all whilst living in Dunedin either by flying or driving. 

The experience of moving to New Zealand has been life changing. From still living at home with family to moving on your own to the other side of the world was definitely a daunting prospect but one I was ready to relish. Making this decision I feel I can live the rest of my life knowing I did something out of the ordinary and got to explore so much more. 

Some take away points:

1 – Don’t Panic! Take a breath and carry on.

2 – Use the opportunity to try something new! 

3 – Be a Tourist! Explore what’s out there and enjoy it. 

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