Nadia Reid's Dunedin

I was born in Auckland and raised in Dunedin and lived in the UK for a while, but I think we only really get one, intimate connection with a place we can call home. For me that is Dunedin, where I spent that formative time growing into a teenager. I’ve been performing since age 14 and am now lucky enough to call it my career. I’m currently living “home” in the North East Valley with my husband Angus and Joni the Goldendoodle. My studio and some of my favourite places to eat and drink are in the central city. I also love the harbour, mountains, beaches and the rugged coastline.

A visit to Orokonui Ecosanctuary

600 Blueskin Road, Dunedin

Orokonui Ecosanctuary is possibly one of my most favourite places in New Zealand. My high school band played at the blessing of the land back in 2009. There was a period of time when I’d go many times a week to soak in the trees and the birds. You can get a good workout walking around the tracks, because it’s a really large sanctuary. There is a beautiful, friendly resident eel called Waimarie. You can’t touch her amazing skin, though it’s very tempting, but you can give her a bit of veal for a little treat.

Two takahe birds.

Cauliflower halloumi at Side-On

326 Moray Place, Dunedin Central

A relatively new arrival to Dunedin, this café is just the best in town. They’ve brought a new energy to Dunedin. It’s got a very Melbourne feel with the open kitchen and the friendly staff. It’s minimal and tasteful. I’m always in and out of here. I love the window seat where you can sit and spy on the street. The super-cool staff know their stuff, and you always feel really welcome. The coffee is great and the food even better. They bake all their own bread and have a cauliflower halloumi dish which is incredible.

A barista behind the coffee machine at Side-On.

A flat white from Mazagran on Moray Place

36 Moray Place, Dunedin Central

Mazagran is a Dunedin institution. Chris told me the other day he’d been running it for more than 20 years, and I’ve been going since I was a teenager. Mazagran is a tiny little, understated hole-in-the-wall. The roaster takes up half the place. You could probably only fit five people in there, but it’s high quality coffee. My studio is just up the hill, so I often take my little dog and just sit on the street and watch the world go by

The inside of Mazagran cafe.

An ice cream from Patti’s & Cream

Usually parked up at St Clair Beach

If it’s a sunny day and Olive Tabor’s ice cream truck, Betty the Bedford, is parked up at St Clair beach, there’s almost always a line. Olive makes everything herself using local ingredients. Patti’s and Cream has been such a hit that Olive has opened a permanent scoop shop in Mornington. She also does delivery! The ice cream is incredible.

A close up of an ice cream.

A pint and a seafood platter at Careys Bay

17 Macandrew Road, Careys Bay, Dunedin

Set in an idyllic harbour just around from my beloved Port Chalmers, is the Careys Bay Hotel run by Jo Kidston and her family. Jo was the first person to give me a job in hospitality, and I worked here on and off from when I was 15. The seafood is fresh and the views are incredible. Sometimes you see a dolphin in the harbour, or a seal. I get so nostalgic here. Very much worth the trip just for the fresh, salty sea air.

The inside of the Careys Bay Hotel restaurant.

A hill ride at Hare Hill Horse Trekking

Deborah Bay, Dunedin

I did pony club as a young teen and still adore horse riding. I jump at any chance to get close to a horse, even when travelling. I rode a horse up Mount Vesuvius once! Because I used to live in Port Chalmers, I would often do lessons with Oliver Goldsmith from Hare Hill Horse Trekking. We’d take a ride on Aramoana Beach or up one of the hills of his property. Oliver has been around for a while now. My favourite horse is Mac, who is Oliver’s special horse. Mac even featured in my music video, Preservation.

A horse in the Deborah Bay area.

A cocktail and cheese ball at Woof! Bar

368 Moray Place, Dunedin Central

Woof! Bar has been a bit of a saviour for Dunedin. It’s been full to the brim from the minute it opened its doors. Every ingredient is right. Dudley Benson and Josh Thomas are so considered and thoughtful. I found out about its conception months before it opened and it felt like such a long wait. Now, we are so lucky to have this incredible, community, classy-as-hell bar that operates as an inclusive and important meeting hub. Grab a booth on a Friday night and don’t forget to try the Cheeseball.

People dining inside Woof.

A morning swim at Moana Pool

60 Littlebourne Road, Roslyn, Dunedin

I remember coming here as a little girl. It's a hugely sentimental place for me - the smell and the sounds. And I really like aqua jogging, so I still go quite often. If I’m in town, I’ll go a couple of times a week. I love the way the sun streams through the glass.  I find swimming so healing, both physically and mentally. It’s almost a meditative feeling. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel amazing after they get out of the pool. You feel renewed and cleansed. Often when I’m travelling I try to find a pool, but this pool is my absolute favourite.

The entrance to Moana Pool.

A walk to the top of Mount Cargill

Mount Cargill, Dunedin

I always take visitors here. You have an unforgettable 360 degree view of Dunedin. It’s breath-taking. Especially on a clear day. You get a huge cardio boot walking to the top, and then a shaky-knee ramble down. I just love this walk. If you want to do the whole thing, it’s a good three hours, but if you go from the Organ Pipes, it’s an hour and a bit. I usually go for the shorter one.

The top of Mount Cargill.

Sunday bagels from Beam Me Up

9 North Road, North East Valley, Dunedin

We shifted to the North East in January and we’ve had to control visits to Beam Me Up bagels. They are so good you could end up eating them three times a week. All the bagels are hand rolled onsite, and there are lines out the door on weekends. It’s been so wildly successful that they’ve opened another store in the city centre.

Close up of bagels on a table.