The principal settlement of the Otago Peninsula, 21km from Dunedin city. Early settler Walter Christie called his house Portobello after his Scottish birthplace and the name came to refer to the settlement. In 1904 a marine hatchery and biology station were established at nearby Quarantine Point; in 1951 they were taken over by the University of Otago.

Meaning of place name
Named by a Scottish draper, Christie, who arrived in 1850, after his birthplace on the Firth of Forth, near Edinburgh. Portobello in Scotland in turn took its name from Porto Bello (later Puerto Bello) in Panama.

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