Dunedin-octAbout Dunedin

Dunedin - the perfect place to explore New Zealand’s heritage and wildlife. Historic Dunedin is renowned for its abundance of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, as well as its proximity to rare wildlife. The Dunedin Railway Station, Otago University and First Church are fine examples of the fascinating early history of the city, which can be further explored in the spectacular new Toitu Early Settlers Museum. The city stretches around a long and beautiful harbour sheltered by the stunning Otago Peninsula, home to a colony of one of the world’s rarest penguins, the Yellow Eyed Penguin. It also boasts the only mainland breeding colony of the Royal Albatross, and its rugged coastline is frequented by rare New Zealand Hooker sea lions. Dunedin offers an abundance of activities to keep you busy for days - from museums and art galleries to chocolate factory or brewery tours. Visit Olveston for an intimate glimpse of Dunedin lifestyle in the Edwardian era or take a train ride back in time through the rugged Taieri Gorge in a historic train carriage. Enjoy the café culture in and around the Octagon at the centre of the city and try a few of the award winning restaurants, particularly those specialising in seafood. If your stay includes a Saturday be sure to visit the Farmers Market, held next to the Railway Station.


Mountain biking at Brighton beach

Dunedin railway station

Dunedin Links

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Activities in Dunedin

The sleepy seaside village of Brighton, on the coast 18km south of Dunedin, is a wonderful family-friendly destination where you can swim safely, sit in the creek, have a picnic or barbecue, and fossick in rock pools.

The inner city is compact, with iconic heritage buildings within a stroll of Dunedin’s central Octagon. Follow the heritage trails or sign up for a guided walk at the centrally located i-Site. Gardens, both public and private, short walks and hikes to stunning vistas are a great way to explore the city.

Dunedin’s Botanic Garden opened in 1869, making it the oldest in New Zealand. Designated a Garden of International Significance by The New Zealand Gardens Trust, it is famous for its rhododendron dell.

Stretch your calf muscles on the worlds steepest Street – Baldwin St in North Dunedin. Regularly raced; by people in the annual ‘Gut buster” race, and by sweets in the Cadbury Chocolate Carnival’s iconic ‘Jaffa Race’.

Otago Harbour, can be seen in its magnificent entirety from the lookout at Signal Hill, only minutes from the city centre.

Dunedin is a mecca for outdoor pursuits. Surfers will discover great waves, both for learners and the most experienced of thrill seekers. Hire a bike, for either mountain biking on tracks in the hills surrounding the city, or a more sedate ride along the harbour. Golfers can take their pick of the myriad of courses available; from the first golf club opened in New Zealand at the historic Balmacewen Golf Course, to the links course at Chisholm Park, or the magnificent cliff top scenery of St Clair Golf Course.

St Clair offers seaside delights just ten minutes from Dunedin’s Octagon. Stroll, surf, or enjoy the Esplanade’s bars, cafes or restaurants. During summer the therapeutic Hot Salt Water Pool is a local institution.

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A steep track and narrow, stepped tunnel lead down to this romantic and secluded beach, once the private domain of the powerful Cargill family. White sandstone cliff s and curious wind, sea and rain-sculpted stacks add to the atmosphere here. Signposted 7 km south of Dunedin. (Closed Aug/Sep/Oct).

A breath-taking natural environment on the doorstep of Dunedin City, Otago Peninsula is home to rare and protected native bird and marine mammal species and internationally acclaimed ecotourism operations. Discover some of New Zealand’s rarest wildlife with local experts from The Royal Albatross Centre, Natures Wonders, and Penguin Place or gain a different perspective on a Monarch Wildlife Cruise. Enjoy the intriguing history and romance at Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle. WILDLIFE: Please treat any wildlife you encounter with care and follow any instructions on signposts. Give sea lions a wide berth (20 m), retreat if you see penguins approaching.

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Turn off Highcliff Road onto Sandymount Road, then right onto Seal Point Road to reach the car park. A path crosses farmland to the sand dunes. Go down the sand hill – which can be rather testing on the return, uphill journey – and walk about 1 km along the beach. Near the southern end a marked track leads up to a hide to view the yellow-eyed penguins (hoiho).

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The circuit track begins at the car park at the end of Sandymount Road. This walk via The Chasm and Lovers Leap – with a side track to Sandymount summit – gives spectacular views of Otago Peninsula’s coastline and cliff tops. (Closed Aug/Sep/Oct).

Dunedin Map