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Originally named Koputai by Kai Tahu, Port Chalmers became an important trading port for sealers and whalers in the early 19th century. By 1863 it was the third largest port in Australasia, fuelled by the Otago gold rush. It went on to farewell New Zealand's first cargo of refrigerated meat in 1882, and explorers like Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton as they embarked on their Antarctic expeditions. The wealth of the port, and the role it played in shaping early New Zealand, is reflected in its fine collection of bluestone buildings and rich maritime history.
source: Tourism Dunedin website