The architecture of the early Scottish settlers has left Dunedin with an unquestionable charm.
The early settlers from Scotland and China struck gold and the city grew quickly. In its time around 1870 Dunedin and Otago was the cultural and economic centre of New Zealand. Notably the grand train station, town hall and university are all remarkable examples of New Zealand’s nineteenth century heritage.
Dunedin and its rolling hills are located near the Otago Peninsula, where the rare endangered yellow-eyed penguin and albatross colonies can be visited. There is incredible variety of wildlife here including fur seals and sea lions. The area of the Otago Peninsula is also home to Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle.
Dunedin is unquestionably a student city; it has vibrant population of young people that give life to the otherwise older character. New Zealand’s first university, the University of Otago (1869) is the second largest and questionably the finest in the country. Many students from throughout the country leave their homes to study at Otago University in Dunedin. This helps create a dynamic creative culture in the city that is represented in arts, music and events.
Dunedin comes alive in summer with the Summer Festival, the New Zealand Masters Games and Student Orientation, a yearly University of Otago initiation period.
The Otago Peninsula frames Dunedin’s harbour, providing a spectacular setting for unique and natural features. The peninsula is spectacular and visits to the area include the opportunity to view albatross, fur seals, penguins, nesting birds, and dolphins.
Found on the Otago Peninsula are colonies of the world’s rarest penguin, the Yellow-eyed Penguin, sharing secluded beaches with New Zealand Fur Seals. Nesting grounds of other birds, including the White-fronted Tern, and the Blue Penguin
The Royal Albatross Colony at Taiaroa Head is the only mainland breeding colony of albatross in the world. The Royal Albatross Centre is a great starting point to gather information on the only mainland nesting colony of the Royal Albatross in the world. You will also find guided tours there.
J M Larnach aspired to build a magnificent castle looking out over the Otago Peninsula.
The castles founding stone was laid in August 1871 and the finest local and overseas craftsman used styles and materials from all over the world to create his grand dream, sparing no expense… When you’re standing on the castle walls, looking out over the Otago Peninsula, the views are breathtaking. Perched atop the mountains of the Otago Peninsula, Larnach Castle seems to rise into the heavens. It is without doubt a grand monument to Otago’s rich gold mining history. Catch the views out to sea and back towards the city and its harbour.
Speights is synonymous with Otago and the south. This beer brand has grown into a cultural icon, The Speight’s Heritage Centre is an informative tour through the unique brewery (and museum) of the beer and brand.
Dunedin is host to the world’s steepest street. Take your time walking this world famous street or compete in the annual Baldwin Street Gutbuster as part of the Dunedin Summer Festival.
Taieri Gorge Railway
The award winning Taieri Gorge Limited train is Dunedin’s prestige tourist train operating from the historic Railway Station.
The journey takes you past gold mining areas and steep ravines and through numerous tunnels deep into the Taieri River Gorge, an area only accessible by train. Don’t miss the stunning scenery and this great adventure.
Organised harbour cruises on the Otago Harbour are a great way to enjoy the marine habitat.
Cruising on the Otago Harbour is a wonderful experience. Organised harbour cruises offer excellent viewing of this marine habitat. Monarch Wildlife Cruises and Tours offer the opportunity to view albatross, fur seals, penguins, nesting birds, dolphins, geological features and information regarding the cultural heritage of Dunedin’s beautiful harbour.
The Otago Museum is Dunedin’s most visited attraction.
It makes for a great introduction to the southern region. Explore, its richness and vibrancy through outstanding collections covering culture, nature and science.
Otago Settlers Museum
Otago Settlers Museum focuses on the social history of Otago. Learn about the early settlers and their stories.
The Dunedin Public Art Gallery
You will find the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in the heart of the city. It holds an impressive collection of historical and contemporary art. There are also plenty of special exhibitions and tours that make a visit to the gallery a very worthwhile experience.
Over twenty five organized plant collections are displayed in the 28 Hectares of the Botanic Garden. Altitude ranges from 25 m to 85 m above sea level, providing an atmosphere of great beauty.