Bucket Checklist: Prime 15 Finest Issues to Do in Dunedin, New Zealand
Dunedin Bucket List: Amazing Places in Dunedin, New Zealand
L.Dunedin is located on the South Island of New Zealand and is the second largest city in the region after Christchurch and the largest city in the Otago region. The town has some traces of Scottish heritage since it was founded by Presbyterian Scottish immigrants. Dunedin is small but has some breathtaking rolling hills. For this reason, the steepest residential street in the world is located here. Thanks to its small size, the city center can easily be explored on foot as you admire its 19th century architecture. Here are our 15 best things to do in Dunedin, New Zealand:
1. Visit Larnach Castle
Larnach Schlossfoto via Depositphotos
The most impressive and populous building in the city, Larnach Castle is the only castle in New Zealand.
It was built in the late 19th century by William Larnach, who made his fortune from Otago during the gold rush period. As a rich man it is noticeable that no expense was spared in the construction.
2. Admire the Dunedin Botanical Gardens
Dunedin Botanical Garden By Krzysztof Golik – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, CC
A trip to the Dunedin Botanic Garden is one of the best things to do in town. Opened in 1863, this garden was the first of its kind in New Zealand and is home to nearly 7,000 different plants, both native and international.
Just stroll through the garden and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
3. Check out the Otago Museum
Otago Museum By Grutness in the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC
The Otago Museum dates back to 1876 and has all the information you need about the country’s cultural and natural heritage.
Here you will also find New Zealand’s largest museum collection. Find out more about Maori life on the South Island here.
Not to be missed is Discovery World, where you can encounter butterfly-rich rainforests.
4. Learn more about the Otago settlers
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum by Grutness via Wikipedia CC
Visit the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum and discover the history of the Maori and settlers who came to the island during the Otago Gold Rush in the 19th century, while still learning about the people of the South Island.
The museum offers incredible multimedia and interactive information about the development of the city.
5. Check into the Dunedin Public Art Gallery
Chef Ngairo Rakaihikuroa in Wairarapa in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery By Gottfried Lindauer – Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Public Domain, CC
The Dunedin Public Art Gallery is one of the most prestigious galleries in the country and is home to a large collection of works of art by notable local artists and some international artists, including murals by Turner and Machiavelli.
The museum also has a room for decorative pieces such as ceramics, textiles and glassware.
Local artists such as Bruce Mahalski and Frances Hodgkins also have their works on display in the museum.
6. Take a trip to the Otago Peninsula
Royal Albatross Center
While there isn’t much going on on the Otago Peninsula, there are two attractions to check out while you are there. Taiaroa Head is a popular station with an incredible nature reserve.
At the same time, the Royal Albatross Center is New Zealand’s first private not-for-profit conservation company and is home to a huge colony of royal albatross and red-billed gulls, the rare Stewart Island Shag, royal spoonbills and southern fur seals.
7. Marvel at Dunedin Railway Station
Dunedin Railway Station
This magnificent train station was built in 1904 by an architect named George Troup in Edwardian Baroque style and is in neo-Gothic style. After drawing a lot of public attention, the architect was knitted for his impressive work.
The building is one of the most popular and well-known structures in the city. Dunedin Railway Station connects the city and the Taieri Gorge. The New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame is also located there.
8. Explore every inch of Olveston’s house
Olveston Historic Home in Dunedin, New Zealand via Depositphotos
This historic home was built in 1906 by local philanthropist and collector David Theomin who served as his private home.
The facade was designed by Sir George Ernest, using some design ideas from the English arts and crafts movement of the early 20th century. The rooms feature some of Theomin’s treasures from around the world.
9. Visit the port of Chalmers
Port Chalmers By Benchill – Own work, public domain, CC
Port Chalmers is located approximately 12 kilometers north of the city and is the main port of Dunedin. It was named after one of its founders, Dr. Thomas Chalmers, named. The district is home to numerous private art galleries and café culture, and served as an entry point for colonizers in 1844.
There is a Scott Memorial which commemorates one of the city’s first visitors, Captain Scott, who sailed from this port on his last tragic voyage in 1910.
10. Take in the city views from Signal Hill
The view to the south over the center of Dunedin and the head of the port of Otago from the New Zealand Centennial Monument on Signal Hill By Grutness in the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC
At 393 meters tall, Signal Hill provides the best vantage point for seeing the city and port of Otago, and the land beyond.
On this hill is a memorial to the 100th anniversary of the Waitangi Treaty in 1940, the founding document of New Zealand.
11. Swim at Tunnel Beach
Collage of the tunnel at Tunnel Beach, Dunedin, New Zealand By Ingolfson at English Wikipedia (Original text: Uploader.) – Transferred to Commons from en.wikipedia. (Original text: own picture.), Public Domain, CC
The tunnel on this beach was created in the 1870s and provides a great place for walking by the sea. Although the coast is subject to stormy winds, it is still worth a visit.
To get into the tunnel, you have to go down and back up 72 steps, which can be quite slippery in a drizzle.
12. Explore the Dunedin Railways
A train traveling through the Taieri Gorge By Mike Goren from New York – Scenic Train, CC BY 2.0, CC
Enjoy some of the New Zealand countryside by taking a trip to the Dunedin Railways.
The historic carriages drive through the breathtaking hinterland of Otago, especially through the Taieri Gorge on a raised viaduct and over numerous bridges and 10 tunnels on the slopes.
13. Take a day trip to the Orokonui Ecosanctuary
Located about 20 kilometers from the city, the Orokonui Ecosanctuary is an interesting biodiversity site that occupies more than 300 hectares in the coastal area of Otago in the Orokonui Valley. Here you can spot a wide variety of creatures and native plants.
14. Marvel at the Moeraki Boulders
Cloudy sunrise at Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand via Depositphotos
The Moeraki Boulders consist of 50 smooth, spherical rocks and are an unforgettable sight on this normally lonely, spacious sandy beach.
The boulders used to be part of the cliffs along the coast, but due to millions of years of wave erosion, the cliffs slowly subsided, leaving behind those peculiar rocks.
15. Walk down Baldwin Street
Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand is the steepest street in the world. Photo via Depositphotos
A trip to Dunedin, home to the world’s steepest residential street, doesn’t necessarily mean seeing the Guinness Book of Records.
Baldwin Street is a popular attraction and one of the most recognizable spots in the city north of Signal Hill.
Dunedin travel and tour packages
To help you plan your visit to Dunedin, we have listed attractions and other amazing places in Dunedin, New Zealand. We’ve also listed some of the best travel deals and tour packages, along with excellent flight deals and accommodations.
Looking for the best hotels, resorts and cheap flights in nearby towns? Check out our list of affordable Dunedin hotels and resorts through Agoda, Booking, or check out Airbnb hotels available in the city as well.
Would you like more information on new vacation packages and attractions in Dunedin, New Zealand? Follow #TeamOutofTown on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.