This eight-sided plaza is at the heart of the Dunedin central business district. Surrounding the Octagon is a larger octagonal street, Moray Place. The area within the roadway - with the exception of the central thoroughfare between George and Princes Streets - is a pedestrian reserve, grassed and terraced in the upper half, and paved in the lower. The covered walkways and Edwardian-styled streetlights and fittings give an antique look to the central city, complementing the many late Victorian and Edwardian buildings which surround The Octagon, including the Town Hall and St Paul's Cathedral.
A street market occupies much of the paved area once a week. The terrace is surmounted by a statue by Sir John Steel of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, whose nephew, Thomas Burns was one of the founders of the city.
A "Writers' walk", featuring plaques inscribed with words from famous Dunedin writers and words about Dunedin by famous visiting writers. This walk extends around much of the upper Octagon.
*Image by Grutness at Wikipedia, Creative Commons licence.