Wilkinson was part of the England squad involved in the 1998 Tour From Hell - with Carisbrook's 'House of Pain' living up to its reputation.
A shadow England team - featuring full Test debuts for Josh Lewsey and Pat Sanderson - conceded nine tries and lost 64-22 to the All Blacks, with salt rubbed into the wounds when they had Danny Grewcock sent off.
Thirteen years on and Wilkinson is back in the city for England's Rugby World Cup opener against Argentina - although Dunedin's new futuristic stadium is more of a 'Greenhouse Of Pain' given its permanent glass roof.
And having progressed from that heavy loss to win the World Cup five years later, Wilkinson insists the lessons he learned that day remain clearly etched in the memory.
He said: "It was a big building block in my life. Who knows what would have happened if you take that one away?
"We got hammered by a much better team and we learned what it takes to be the best that day. It has been important to me.
"We thought we knew what we were doing but you find out just how far short you are. I still have that lesson now and not just in rugby.
"Coming back you do realise how much following there is for rugby and how much pride there is in performance.
"It does give you that little boost to know that when you come here to play, you have got to bring the best you have otherwise you will get hurt."
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