The New Zealand Street Where Houses Appear To Be Sinking

The optical illusion is driving the internet crazy.

It’s only 350 metres long, but what Baldwin Street in Dunedin lacks in length, it certainly makes up for in height.

The New Zealand street is the steepest residential street in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

When photos of houses are taken at an angle, it appears as if they are sinking – and the optical illusion has internet users scratching their heads.



A photo posted by kaspar (@kasparschiesser) on


Baldwin Street has become a tourist attraction, with visitors flocking to the road to take photos of the seeming lopsided houses.

The annual Baldwin Street Gutbuster sees hundreds of competitors racing from the bottom of the road to the top and down again. The race record currently stands at 1.56 minutes.

Baldwin Street Gutbuster

[Image: Dunedin Tourism]

The Cadbury Jaffa Race also takes place on the street, raising money for charity while rolling thousands of the bright red chocolates down from the top of the hill

The area’s growing popularity prompted the local council to create a care code for the street, including asking pedestrians to stay on paths, respect people’s property and not block driveways.



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In 2001, the street made headlines around the world when a teenager died while coasting down the steep road in a wheelie bin.

The upper section of Baldwin Street climbs a vertical height of 47.22 – a staggering average gradient of 1 in 3.42. On its steepest section, the average gradient is 2.86.

Baldwin Street

[Image: Dunedin Tourism]

[Header image: Tristan Schmurr]

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