Scarfie Flats of DunedinIn April 2018 the stars aligned and Sarah Gallagher, of the Dunedin Flat Names Project, and Dr Ian Chapman, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at the University of Otago, teamed up to create Scarfie Flats of Dunedin – a highly colourful and pictorial work featuring a fine, witty, sometimes edgy, selection of Dunedin’s well known and less well known named flats. Featuring a selection of back stories of flats, photos and associated ephemera, as well as chapters by subject matter experts, readers will appreciate the changing scene of student culture and society in Dunedin from the 1930s to the present.

Sarah is grateful to be the recipient of a New Zealand History Research Trust Award which has been used to help fund the research of this book.


Where to buy a copy

Scarfie Flats of Dunedin, published by Imagination Press, is available through Paper Plus, Dunedin’s famous University Bookshop, other independent bookshops, Fishpond and Mighty Ape.

Contact Sarah directly to arrange purchase of a signed copy.

For libraries

Books can be purchased through Publishers Distribution Ltd.

See the WorldCat record.

Media and reviews

Check out the latest media stories about the book and view the locations of these tales on The Great Map of NZ Stories.

Read the reviews: Booksellers, Paper Plus, University BookshopWorldCat

Add to goodreads

The Dunedin Flat Names Project is still ongoing

Students continue to name their flats and there are plenty of stories still to be recorded! You can contribute content by sharing your story, provide missing details, or send an email to


  1. Tyler

    Hey there,

    Just wondering if you’ve ever had the pleasure of looking at Adventure Time at 652 castle street? Was there in 2013 and there’s been some good things to come out of that since then!

    • flatnames

      Tyler, send me details of these good things, and I’d love to know more about your relationship with the name. It’s one of my favourite signs (am also a fan of the cartoon).

    • flatnames

      I do inf=deed, it’s been called The Jungle over the last few years but I remember it as Eltsac Castle when I was a student in the 1990s and for some years after. Did you name it?

  2. Robert Sim

    118 Queen Street was known as ‘The Colony’ with printed t shirts and other screen printed paraphenalia when we were there 1969-1970 as med students. It was then owned by the Director of Religious Broadcasting for the NZBC – we negotiated to paint and carpet and do other repairs after visiting him in Wellington. Do you have more or need more on this flat? We have a few old photos if of any use to this intriguing piece of contemporary history.

    • flatnames

      Hi Robert, thanks for getting in touch. I have no information at all on this flat so am very glad to hear from you. I’m interested to know about the origin and meaning of the name, and what the sign looked like if there was one. I’d be very grateful for any scans you can provide, especially if there is a flat sign involved. Feel free to send this through to (they do need to be high resolution to make it into the book if possible).


    Do you have an entry for 18 London Street, which in the 60’s and early 70’s was called “Skid Row”? In 2015 it was known as “The Orifice”.

  4. Pingback: A December Update – Caffeinated Maps
    • flatnames

      Thanks to Sam contacting me about his named flat, The Brew House, and then me discovering his blog and awesome design skills, we had the chance to work together which is very cool, and really, very Dunedin.

  5. Pingback: 2019 Historical Anniversaries – History Geek
  6. Pingback: Dunedin Flat Maps – Caffeinated Maps
  7. anna Watson nee Mendelssohn

    Did you get the Jam Factory flat, next door to the Factory itself. in Filleul St. I lived there with physios in 1957?
    There was alson a flat in Transport Place.

  8. Pingback: A social history of named student houses in Dunedin, New Zealand – University Histories

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s