Dunedin Mini Guide
What's Good About Dunedin?
Nestling within the crater of an extinct volcano and stretching onto the Otago Peninsula of New Zealand's South Island is stunning Dunedin, where beautiful blue sky meets the mountain tops and the Pacific Ocean laps gently around the natural harbour. The keyword for this city is "endless". That's endless things to see and do, endless beauty and a seemingly endless brag-list of world firsts. Whether you are looking to ski or hike, tour around various sites and attractions or are passionate about nature and wildlife, Dunedin effortlessly mixes history, culture and geographic phenomena to deliver an unforgettable experience.
How Best to get Around?
Flying into Dunedin Airport means you’re travelling from another airport in New Zealand or internationally from Australia
. Hiring a car will help to make the best of your visit and is especially useful because airport public transport is limited. Dunedin is a great base for exploration, being only 30 minutes from Blueskin Bay and a few hours from other cities.
Staying within the city is full of excitement, including the world's steepest roads and some without side-barriers. Visitors who've been to Dunedin's twin city of Edinburgh in the UK. will recognise the daily bustle of students attending the local university, similar road names and other familiarities including a large statue of Robbie Burns. City public transport includes the GoBus and there is a railway station, which mainly offers tourist rail trails, such as through picturesque Taieri Gorge.
What's Going to Give me an Unforgettable Experience?
Where to begin!... Castles, museums and churches offer historical indulgences and architectural adventures. If looking for a cultural experience, visit local art galleries, an experimental art space, or take a trip to the theatres, including the world's southernmost professional theatre. For a more modern tour, try the local brewery or the chocolate factory. Dunedin is famous for its choirs and is home to several bands. At the heart of the city is The Octagon: an 8-sided plaza built on a filled gully. It is a major public transport hub, a great place to enjoy al fresco dining and offers a variety of pastimes, including street performances and the weekly market.
There is a thriving sports culture and local student life encourages a busy social scene, with a rich calendar of festivals, carnivals and events. Try Jaffa-Cake-rolling down the world's steepest road, Baldwin Street, at the annual festival. For a glimpse of nature at its best, visit the seals, penguins and albatross in their natural habitats around the peninsula, or take a boat trip where whale-spotting is common. After a hard day of activity, local parks or gardens offer a place to relax and take in the stunning skyline.
If you're there on the day of the winter solstice, spend an evening ghost hunting after a fine dinner at Larnach Castle. Each year the castle hosts the event with guest storytellers spicing up the proceedings.
Dunedin itself is located in a beautiful setting but hire a car and escape to the countryside for sweeping vistas and fabulous walking country. The city extends onto the Otago Peninsula but still enough of it is left wild and rugged.
At its far end you’ll be able to watch seals and penguins, whilst climbing the hills around the city will give stunning panoramic views. Most popular are Flagstaff, Mount Cargill and Signal Hill. Take a boat trip from Dunedin Harbour and there’s a good chance you’ll spot whales in the cold waters around the city.