Dunedin is a region of unique landscapes and fascinating cultural history. Enjoy getting close to rare wildlife and soaking up the quirky city vibe.
Known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand, Dunedin wears its Scottish heritage with pride. Surrounded by dramatic hills and at the foot of a long, picturesque harbour, Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere.
There is so much to see and do in Dunedin from the heritage buildings to the rare wildlife to the spectacular landscapes. Drive up the Otago Peninsula where the views are endless, and the beaches are beautifully rugged. Nestled at the foot of Taiaroa Head is the Royal Albatross Centre(opens in new window), the only place in the world on the mainland where you can view Northern Royal Albatross in their natural habitat.
On Dunedin’s doorstep, you will also find incredible wildlife including the world’s rarest penguin colonies. On the beaches, you will find the fur seals and sea lions just lazing around and enjoying their natural habitat.
Dunedin's heritage extends to a real castle, high on the hills of the Otago Peninsula. Larnach Castle is New Zealand's only castle and much-loved piece of Dunedin history.
Head further south, and you join the Southern Scenic Route, a must-do of the South Island that follows the wild coast down to Invercargill and then north-west to Manapouri and Te Anau.
Some of The Many Attractions
Dunedin Botanic Gardens
A verdant city of tree-covered hills, green belts and woodland, Dunedin has its fair share of spectacular and historical gardens.
The Dunedin Botanic Gardens are the crowning glory of the city and are a six-star Garden of International Significance. Over 150 years old, the grounds are resplendent with over 6,800 plant species and the song of wild native bellbirds, wood pigeons and Tui.
Indulge in a touch of nostalgia within the grounds of Olveston Historic Home, explore the wooded pathways of Glenfalloch Gardens on the Otago Peninsula or stop by the Woodhaugh Gardens for an ice-cream under the trees, there is no shortage of beautiful green spaces to enjoy. The Dunedin Chinese Garden is traditional and serene, featuring bridges and water features, and was built by Shanghai artisans as an inner-city haven for peaceful contemplation.
Unique Scenic Highlights
In and around the central city there are plenty of scenic pockets to discover amongst the grand heritage buildings. Stroll through the lush Dunedin Botanic Gardens to the upper Rhododendron Dell which transforms into a floral wonderland each spring and just a short drive further up the hill, you’ll reach the Signal Hill Lookout with panoramic views over the city and ocean beyond.
The Otago Peninsula is a renowned eco-tourism destination where rare wildlife species including penguins, albatross and fur seals have made a home amongst the dramatic cliffs. A compelling mix of quaint harbourside villages, rolling green hills and wild landscapes, the peninsula is best enjoyed over the course of a day or more to uncover its many hidden gems, including New Zealand’s only castle.
A City of Literature
Dunedin is a UNESCO designated City of Literature, and it shows. The town's central Octagon proudly displays a statue of Robert Burns, and has its own Writers’ Walk - a series of plaques featuring entertaining and informative quotes about Dunedin and its heritage.
Bibliophiles should visit the rare manuscript collections at the Reed and de Beer Galleries, or head to Dutybound Book Bindery to see old binding techniques in action. For some serious browsing, swing by Hard to Find Bookshop, Stafford 6 Books or the University Book Shop.
Prizes generously donated by tourism operators from this area that you could win!
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Check out the Tourism New Zealand website for more information about the amazing things to see and do in New Zealand