An essential guide to the very best things to do in and around Dunedin.
Dunedin is a city in New Zealand that is the perfect holiday spot for the people all around the world. Dunedin is a place with has preserved its history in the best way possible. Here you will find everything from beautiful sceneries to ancient architecture to lip-smacking food and many other attractions. This is a haven for the people who want to spend their vacation exploring the nature and also getting involved in the variety of activities around the town. There is a lot this beautiful city has to offer to the travelers. Here are 15 best things to do in Dunedin that people of all age, culture, and likings will enjoy. These 15 best things to do in Dunedin include some of the best tourist attractions in and around Dunedin. So, get ready to have a blast on your vacation at Dunedin.
Here's the list of places to visit and 15 best things to do in Dunedin:
1. Visit The Dunedin Public Art Gallery
One of the most significant galleries in New Zealand is the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. The gallery has a huge collection of paintings that have been created by the local artists in the colonial era till the present times. You can also find some of the best international art pieces from all over the world. The gallery is divided into parts that hold different art pieces such as textiles, glass objects, paintings and much more.
2. Take A Tour Of The Larnach Castle
One of the oldest castles in Dunedin is the Larnach Castle. This is the perfect example of fine craftsmanship and great architecture. The castle is situated at the ideal location that makes it look like a castle from the movies. The garden surrounding the castle is even more beautiful. If you visit the castle during the spring, you will be able to look at the colorful blooming flowers.
3. Stroll Through The Dunedin Botanical Gardens
Another most famous attractions in Dunedin is the Botanical Gardens. These gardens are home to over 6,800 different species of plants including flowers and big trees. They are spread across an area of 30 hectares and contain almost 3000 flowers. Spring is the best time to visit these gardens as you can see the full bloom of the flowers. You can explore the Botanical Gardens on foot and don’t miss to visit the Edwardian style Winter Garden Glasshouse.
4. Admire The Architectural Beauty Of Olveston Historic Home
The Olvestone Historic Home was built by David Theomin in 1906. The construction and the design of this house were created by Sir George Ernest. David Theomin was a vivid collector of art and has a huge collection of artifacts from all over the world. Most of his artifacts have been taken and stored in the museum. However, the house still holds a lot of different artifacts. The structure of the building is an artwork on its own, and you will surely be impressed by it.
5. Spend Some Time At The Dunedin Railway Station
The Dunedin Railway Station is another one of the prime attractions of the city. If you are traveling to Dunedin via train, this is the first masterpiece you will come across in the city. The building of the railway station is designed in the Neo-Gothic style, and the exteriors are made of basalt and limestone. You will find some ornate detailing in the interior. This is one of the most visited attractions in the city, and the best part is that the station is still used.
6. Take Your Kids To Explore The Otago Museum
The Otago Museum or the Otago Settlers Museum is a modern museum that shows the lives of the people of Otago. This is dedicated to all the Otago Settlers that moved here during the Otago Gold Rush. There are numerous interactive displays in the museum that exactly depicts the entire history. The Smith Gallery in the museum has the largest collection of portraits of Otago Pioneers.
7. Take A Trip To Nature’s Wonders Naturally
Nature’s Wonder Naturally is a program through which you will see the natural wildlife of Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula in the most environmentally friendly way possible. The wildlife is fragile, and any changes in it can cause a lot of harm to flora and fauna of the area. This is one of the best rides that you will take. This is not a safari through a zoo or a wildlife park, you will drive through the actual jungle, and you can see some of the rarest animals through your tour. One of the most common sightings in the Blue Penguins and the seals and pups.
8. Indulge in Some Horseback Riding At Hare Hills
With beautiful green forests and the ideal view that will mesmerize you, the Hare Hills is the perfect place to go horseback riding. These hills are perfect farmland that spread across 60 acres. You will see the Otago Harbor on your left side and the mountain surrounding you. This is the place where you should go horseback riding. All kinds of riders, be it the beginners or the advanced are welcomed to ride or learn. You can ride through different trails and even the beaches.
9. Go on A Trip To The Taiaroa Head
Taiaroa Head is situated at the tip of the Otago Peninsula. This is a wildlife reserve and the Royal Albatross Observatory. You can visit this reserve and have experience with the most extensive wildlife in the country. You will find animals like red-billed gulls, Rare Stewart Island Shag, and many more such animals. This is also a bird watchers paradise where you can find lots of different species of birds at the Pilot’s beach.
10. Try Some Chocolate At Cadbury World
The Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate factory is the heaven for the children. The factory runs regular tours for the visitors where you can see chocolate being made in a large vessel and being packed. This tour will remind people of the famous movie, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’ You will also get a chance to go on unlimited chocolate tasting after the tour to the factory ends. The kids and even the adults will love this tour.
11. Walk Around The Tunnel Beach
The Tunnel Beach is a great option when you want to go for a hike on the beach. The coastline makes for an astounding view. The Tunnel at the Tunnel beach was built in the 1870s to make a way through this small secluded beach. When you reach the cliff, you can see the view of the southern ocean.
12. Be Mesmerized By The Beauty Of The Moeraki Boulders
Another attraction in Dunedin is the Moeraki Boulders. The boulders are located on the Koekohe Beach that is a little further away from Dunedin and go on a day trip to this location. There are 50 perfectly smooth boulders on this lonely beach that look like the marbles that have been left by the giants.
13. Take A Hike Up The Signal Hill
If you just want to get the best view of Dunedin and are ready to climb a hill for that, then a ride up the Signal Hills is the best thing for you. The signal hill is 393 meters high and can be climbed easily. Once you reach the top, you can have a clear view of the Otego Harbor and the bird’s eye view of the city. Signal Hill is one of the most visited locations in the city by the hikers. If you do not want to climb all the way up to the hills, then you can also take a 15 minutes steep drive that will be easier for the people who cannot walk a lot.
14. Spend Your Day At Port Chalmers
Another location that is a must visit in the city is the Port Chalmers. This port is named after Dr. Thomas Chalmers who founded the free church of Scotland. This was the place where the colonization of Otego first began and hence it holds a huge place in the history of Dunedin. You can visit the Port Chalmers Seafaring Museum which has been built in the former post office. There are a lot of other attractions that can also be visited.
15. Take A Picturesque Train Ride With The Taieri George Railway
If you want to take a train ride to the locations away from Dunedin, the Taieri George Railway is the best for you. You will witness the most astonishing scenery of all time during this train ride through the mountains, rivers and other natural phenomenon’s. You will not find the time to take off your eyes from the window of the train as everything outside looks like a beautiful movie.
No matter what your plans are, including these 15 best things to do in Dunedin on your bucket list. Some of these activities require physical strength and most of the people do not consider it as the ideal vacation. However, these are the new things that you can try and remember the adventure for a lifetime. Shop at the local markets for the souvenirs. There are lots of boutiques and antique shops that sell anything from clothes to shoes, bags, and jewelry. You can also buy handicraft items for you and your family members. Do not forget to get some dessert at the Dunedin famous bakeries and cafes. Dunedin can be visited in all the seasons however, for the best experience, it is better to visit the city during offseason.