Visitors to the World’s Steepest Street Are Filling Instagram With Optical Illusions
New Zealand travel is seriously on the rise.
Not only did Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling recently take what looked like the work trip of a lifetime there, but so many visitors are now flooding in that the country is running out of hotel rooms.
By 2022, the number of annual tourists is expected to reach 4.5 million, which almost matches the population living there. And speaking of living there, the number of Americans applying for a grant of New Zeland citizenship increased by 70 percent at the end of 2016 compared to the year before.
If you jump on the New Zealand train and find yourself near Dunedin anytime soon, put on your most comfortable walking shoes and head to Baldwin Street for a seriously trippy Instagram opportunity. Baldwin Street holds the Guinness World Record for steepest residential street in the world, with a gradient of 35 percent.
When plans for Dunedin were first mapped out, the work was done by planners in London, who did not take the area's hilly topography into account. But not to be discouraged, they went about building roads and even houses along some seriously steep blocks, the most extreme of which is Baldwin Street.
Once a year, hundreds of athletes gather there to run up and down the street at the Baldwin Street Gutbuster. (We can only assume the residents who do this every day just sit at home and laugh at them.)
On most other days of the year, tourists can be found snapping photos that create some crazy optical illusions. Instagrammers love to capture the homes of Baldwin Street on an angle, making it look like they are completely crooked or sinking into the ground.
Some homeowners seem to play along as well, such as this one, who put the mailbox on the same angle as the street's incline to throw off passersby.
Want to see more? Search #baldwinstreet on Instagram. But if you suffer from vertigo, be warned.