15 Best Things To Do in Dunedin, New Zealand

An essential guide to the very best things to do in and around Dunedin.

Best things to do in Dunedin-ImagePhoto: wikimedia.org

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

public art gallery dunedinPhoto: flickr.com

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

Larnach Castle - ImagePhoto: wikimedia.org

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

Botanical Garderns - ImagePhoto: wikimedia.org

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

Olveston Historic HomePhoto: flickr.com

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

Things to do in Dunedin - ImagePhoto: pixabay.com

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

Must see in Dunedin  - ImagePhoto: wikimedia.org

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.

Author
Dhruvalakshmi, who believes that her Patronus would be a cat, loves day-dreaming and writing. But, she gets very uncomfortable when it comes to writing third person introductions like this one. If you ask her to scribble something about herself, she ...

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Top Dunedin Activities And Tours

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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Dunedin, New Zealand

Must see places in Dunedin ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Dunedin and point of interests to visit.

  1. Larnach Castle And Gardens

    # 1 of 84 Things To Do in Dunedin | Added 863 times in trip plans
    Larnach Castle And Gardens

    Tags: Outdoors, Garden, Castle, Architecture

    Address: 145 Camp Road, Otago Peninsula 9077, Dunedin

    Timings: 09:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    Built in the year 1871 by William Larnach (merchant and politician) for his beloved first wife Eliza, the Larnach Castle is New Zealand’s only castle. A majestic and magnificent piece of archite...Read more

  2. Otago Peninsula

    # 2 of 84 Things To Do in Dunedin | Added 750 times in trip plans
    Otago Peninsula

    Tags: Geological Formation, Wildlife Sanctuary , Park, Nature

    Address: Dunedin, New Zealand

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    While in Dunedin, keep aside half a day to explore the Otago Peninsula. The peninsula is situated towards the east of Dunedin and together with its 20 kilometres long harbour, is home to magnific...Read more

  3. Dunedin Railway Station

    # 3 of 84 Things To Do in Dunedin | Added 830 times in trip plans
    Dunedin Railway Station

    Tags: Landmark

    Address: Dunedin, New Zealand

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Officially opened in the year 1906, Dunedin's Railway station was designed in a fashionable and highly expensive Edwardian Baroque style. This building arguably portrays Dunedin's wealthy inheritance....Read more

  4. The Royal Albatross Centre

    # 4 of 84 Things To Do in Dunedin | Added 500 times in trip plans
    The Royal Albatross Centre

    Tags: Outdoors, Wildlife Sanctuary , Nature

    Address: 1260 Harington Point Road, New Zealand

    Timings: 11:30 am - 07:00 pm Details

    Nestled at the foot of Taiaroa Head, the Royal Albatross Centre is a must see if you want to know more about the elusive bird. If you are not a bird watcher and don’t know much about the Albatro...Read more

  5. St. Clair Beach And Salt Water Pool

    # 5 of 84 Things To Do in Dunedin | Added 626 times in trip plans
    St. Clair Beach And Salt Water Pool

    Tags: Outdoors, Beach, Walking Area, Tourist Center

    Address: Dunedin, New Zealand.

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Situated only minutes from the city centre, the St. Clair Beach is a popular beach in Dunedin renowned for being a surfing destination. Head over to the beach for a swim, a surf or maybe a romantic wa...Read more

  6. Baldwin Street

    # 6 of 84 Things To Do in Dunedin | Added 667 times in trip plans
    Baldwin Street

    Tags: Landmark, Tourist Center

    Address: North East Valley, Dunedin, New Zealand

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    A novel and unique tourist attraction, the Baldwin Street is recognized by Guinness Book of Records as the steepest street in the world! The street runs up the northern side of Signal Hill at slopes o...Read more

  7. Toitu Otago Settlers Museum

    # 7 of 84 Things To Do in Dunedin | Added 545 times in trip plans
    Toitu Otago Settlers Museum

    Tags: Museum, Wildlife Park, Exhibition , Specialty Museum

    Address: 31 Queens Gardens, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand

    Timings: 10:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    Opened in 1908, the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum traces the lives of the settlers of New Zealand- the indigenous Maori, the early Chinese, the Europeans and other migrant groups. The museum exhibits th...Read more

  8. Cadbury World

    # 8 of 84 Things To Do in Dunedin | Added 493 times in trip plans
    Cadbury World

    Tags: Educational Site, Tour, Entertainment, Tourist Center

    Address: 280 Cumberland Street, Central City, Dunedin

    Timings: 09:00 am - 03:00 pm Details

    Cadbury World is a colourful, educational chocolate tour which is a fun experience for everyone. For budding chocolatiers and the chocoholics, the Cadbury World tour is a must do! They have two kinds ...Read more

  9. Dunedin Botanic Garden

    # 9 of 84 Things To Do in Dunedin | Added 686 times in trip plans
    Dunedin Botanic Garden

    Tags: Botanical Garden, Observatory

    Address: Corner of Great King Street and Opoho Road, north Dunedin, New Zealand

    Timings: 06:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    Spread across 30.4 hectares and situated at an altitude of 25-85 metres above sea level, the Dunedin Botanic Garden is New Zealand’s first botanic garden and holds the status of ‘Garden of...Read more

  10. Otago Museum

    # 10 of 84 Things To Do in Dunedin | Added 345 times in trip plans
    Otago Museum

    Tags: Art Gallery, Museum, Photo Gallery, Exhibition

    Address: 419 Great King Street, Dunedin 9016, Dunedin 9059, New Zealand

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Spread across 7 galleries, the Otago Museum is an interesting and fun place to visit with your family. On display are extraordinary treasures and inspirational exhibits. The seven galleries are bifurc...Read more

  11. Penguin Place

    # 11 of 84 Things To Do in Dunedin | Added 413 times in trip plans
    Penguin Place

    Tags: Outdoors, Park, Wildlife Park, Nature

    Address: 45 Pakihau Rd, Harington Point 9077, New Zealand

    Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Penguin Place is a private conservation reserve dedicated to helping the endangered Yellow Eyed Penguin. A private enterprise, the conservation project is funded entirely by guided tours of the reserv...Read more

  12. Olveston House And Gardens

    # 12 of 84 Things To Do in Dunedin | Added 294 times in trip plans
    Olveston House And Gardens

    Tags: Garden, Landmark, Historical Site

    Address: 42 Royal Terrace, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Olveston house was built between the years 1904-1906 for Mr. David Theomin (Dunedin businessman, collector and philanthropist) and his family.  He, along with his wife Marie and their two chi...Read more

  13. Speight's Brewers

    # 13 of 84 Things To Do in Dunedin | Added 449 times in trip plans
    Speight's Brewers

    Tags: Tour, Food And Drinks, Brewery, Exhibition

    Address: 200 Rattray Street, Dunedin, New Zealand

    Timings: 11:00 am - 06:30 pm Details

    The Speight’s Brewery was founded in the year 1876. Since then, they have been producing their legendary ales. A Dunedin institution, no visitor to the city should leave without taking the Speig...Read more

  14. Dunedin Chinese Garden

    # 14 of 84 Things To Do in Dunedin | Added 433 times in trip plans
    Dunedin Chinese Garden

    Tags: Garden, Park, Nature

    Address: Corner of Rattray and Cumberland Streets, Dunedin, New Zealand

    Timings: 10:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    Spread across approximately 27000 square feet, the Dunedin Chinese Garden is a perfect miniature replica of a traditional Chinese landscape painting. Named Lan Yuan, this garden celebrates the city&rs...Read more

  15. Tunnel Beach

    # 15 of 84 Things To Do in Dunedin | Added 482 times in trip plans
    Tunnel Beach

    Tags: Beach, Nature

    Address: Tunnel Beach road/ Green Island Bush Road, Dunedin, New Zealand

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Called the most romantic spot in Dunedin, head over to the Tunnel Beach and explore sea-carved sandstone cliffs, rock arches and caves.  The sea carved sandstone cliffs have been formed over cent...Read more

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