Broad Bay sits halfway down the south side of Otago Peninsula, looking out over the harbour.
About 1100 people call Broad Bay home. Most value the fact it is only 15km to the Octagon, yet the 20-minute drive along the peninsula provides a buffer between the settlement and city.
Lala Frazer moved to Broad Bay about 40 years ago and finds the drive one of the upsides of living in the bay. “I always found that it gave me time to leave work concerns behind, before I arrived home – as I watched the changes in the harbour, the light and the birdlife through the seasons.”
When she made the move to the bay, Lala was looking for a north-facing suburb, with a view of the harbour from her kitchen sink. “Broad Bay looks out on the most picturesque parts of the harbour. The view changes daily with the tides, time of year, wind and weather.”
She says the bay’s “bounded edges” provide a real sense of being a village community within the city.
Broad Bay started out as a summer resort. In the days when ferries provided the main means of access, many wealthy families owned summer residences in Broad Bay. Some of these splendid summer homes still exist. They are complemented by small cribs and permanent family homes. Houses in Broad Bay are generally set back off the road – a remnant of the bay’s past, when the roads needed to be wide enough to allow two horse-drawn carriages to pass.
The suburb is known for the historic Fletcher House, and the much-loved Broad Bay China shop (which is sadly to close on 21 February). There is a well-used community centre and small primary school.
Dunedin’s longest running fruit and vegetable co-operative means locals can source produce at the weekends, without having to go into town. Or, by assisting with weeding and planting, they can also enjoy produce from the community garden.
There are plenty of good walks to be enjoyed, as well as walking along or swimming in the bay. An active group of volunteers are helping restore Smiths and Styles Creeks, for future generations to enjoy.
Photo credit: Zwennie, www.flickr.com
Published: February 2016