Dunedin is well known for its location close to the Otago Peninsula, arguably the wildlife capital of NZ. Home to the only mainland Royal albatross colony, plus endangered yellow-eyed penguins, little blue penguins, fur seals anda variety of sea birds. A number of wildlife tours are available, and a harbour cruise on the 'Monarch' is highly recommended. The Pensinsula has dramatic coastal scenery, with remote sandy beaches, cliffs and headlands on one side, and the sheltered harbour, with coastal villages and boatsheds on the other.
Dunedin thrived during the gold rush era and has many heritage buildings, including the railway station, churches, Larnach castle and the University clocktower. Guided walks from the Visitor's Centre provide an introduction to the city's history and scenery. Attractions in the city include the Otago museum and butterfly house, the Chinese Garden, tours of Speight's brewery and Cadbury's chocolate factory and the botanic gardens. There are numerous art galleries and fashion boutiques. On Saturday morning there is a lively farmer's market at the railway station, with food stalls and live music (highly recommended).
Away from the Peninsula, Dunedin has stunning coastal scenery, including Tunnel Beach, which is only minutes from Blackhead Cottage. The tunnel was cut down through the cliff by landowner John Cargill, to allow access to the secluded beach below to allow his daughters to bathe privately. Blackhead Beach, a favourite with surfers, is two minutes away.
Dunedin has a wide range of quality restaurants, cafes and bars. Enjoy sea views at St Clair or the buzz of the Octagon and George Street while you dine.
The Taieri Gorge Railway takes passengers on a scenic ride to Middlemarch in Central Otago, the start of the Central Otago Rail Trail.
Some links are below. Visit Tourism Dunedin www.dunedinnz.com for further information.
What's on in Dunedin
Chinese New Year Festival, Chinese Garden 31 Jan - 2 Feb
id Fashion week, 30 March - 6 April
Dunedin Fringe Festival, 20 - 30 March
Mid winter carnival, 21 June
Cadbury chocolate carnival, 13 - 18 July
Port Chalmers seafood festival, 21 Sept
Otago Festival of the Arts, 10 - 19 Oct
Click here to visit the Dunedin City Events page
Cadbury World - Cadbury Chocolate Factory
Experience the mystique of a working chocolate factory, sample and purchase Cadbury products. Cadbury World is located in the centre of Dunedin city at the Cadbury Factory site. The Visitors Centre is a colourful and educational environment with chocolate themed displays. -
Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours
Royal Albatross Centre
Be fascinated and exhilarated with the wealth of wildlife, dramatic views, so close, so natural – the only way to see it all – Otago Peninsula, Otago Harbour, Taiaroa Head with three time New Zealand Tourism Award winners Monarch Cruises. - http://www.wildlife.co.nz
The Royal Albatross Colony at Taiaroa Head, on the tip of the Otago Peninsula, New Zealand, is the only mainland breeding colony for any albatross species found in the southern hemisphere. Visitors to the Royal Albatross Centre can view the interpretative wildlife displays, learn of the historical use of the area and experience the famous Unique Taiaroa guided tours. -
Taieri Gorge Railway
The Taieri Gorge Limited train is Dunedin's prestige tourist train. Departing from the historic Railway Station you journey through the rugged and spectacular Taieri River Gorge. With full commentary, photographic stops and on board refreshments the train offers year round, all-weather entertainment. - http://www.taieri.co.nz
Dunedin Chinese Garden
Otago Museum and Butterfly Centre
The Dunedin Chinese Garden is an example of a late Ming, early Ching Dynasty Scholar's Garden, surrounded by a four metre perimeter wall.
Discovery World Tropical Forest is the only three level live butterfly experience in Australasia, allowing visitors to experience it from above, through the centre (via an amazing glass swing bridge) and at the forest floor.
Central Otago Rail Trail
Otago Central Rail Trail, or as it's sometimes referred to, Central Otago Rail Trail, Otago Rail Trail and simply, the Rail Trail, takes you on a cycling or walking adventure of a lifetime through 150km of some of New Zealand's most memorable scenery and awe-inspiring gold mining history. -