10 Must Do Attractions in Dunedin and Otago

16 February 18

Known as the Edinburgh of the South, Dunedin is recognised for its landscapes, wildlife and cultural history. Surrounded by dramatic mountain regions and a picturesque harbour, it is one of the most well preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. The Otago Peninsular is also visually stunning and well known for its incredible wildlife including the world’s rarest penguin colonies. See our list of must-do attractions while in Dunedin and Otago.

1. Larnach Castle

Built in 1871, the castle is privately owned by the Barker family who over decades have restored the building and collected period furniture and antiques. Hear the tragic and scandalous history on a guided tour and enjoy spectacular views while wandering around the Garden of International Significance.

2. Dunedin Railway Station

With Renaissance-style architecture featuring Oamaru Limestone and black Basalt rock, the Dunedin Railway Station has been nicknamed ‘Grand Gingerbread House’. Opened in 1906, the station is fully restored to original condition and features a restaurant, art gallery and sports museum.

3. Speight’s Brewery

Enjoy a tour through Speight’s historic working brewery and home to one of NZ’s most popular beers. Travel through the old brewery which has been left in place for visitors to see before visiting the new brewhouse. Learn about the history and sample a range of Speight’s products.

4. Dunedin Botanical Gardens

Explore the beauty of nature with quiet paths amid plants and flowers. Smell the frangipanis, picnic by the plants and appreciate the Rhododendron Dell, one of New Zealand’s native plants. While exploring the 30 hectares, don’t miss spotting the wild birds, appreciating the statues and a quick visit to the Winter Garden Glasshouse, an Edwardian building home to tropical plants is a must.

5. Olveston Historic Home

Furnished with fine art, furniture and artefacts purchased from around the world, the Ovelston Historic Home is a time capsule depicting the life of a wealthy merchant family in the early part of the 20th century.

6. Taieri Gorge Railway

The Taieri Gorge scenic journey will travel through some of New Zealand’s most spectacular and iconic scenery. The train will make its way through ten tunnels and over countless bridges and viaducts. The natural wonders combined with the challenge of man-made engineering will leave you amazed. Your journey includes sightseeing stops, commentary and a licenced café.

7. Literature and Art Trails

Dunedin is a UNESCO City of Literature. Visit the Writer’s Walk, Reed and de Beer Galleries, head to Dutybound Book Bindery or the University Book Shop. Follow the Street Art trail and see 25 large and whimsical artworks from international and local artists.

8. Wildlife Spotting

Commonly known as the Wildlife capital of New Zealand, the 20km long harbour is the home of albatross and multiple species of penguins and seals. Visit the Orokonui Eco Sanctuary or join a wildlife tour with Awesome Tours NZ.

9. Visit the Octagon

Stand in the centre of Dunedin and appreciate the 8-sided plaza, which makes up some of Dunedin’s most important history.  Historical buildings such as the Public Library and St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral are featured in the north, Dunedin’s Public Art Gallery and Regent Theatre in the south and various cafes, bars and alfresco dining make the Octagon popular.

10.  Visit the World’s Steepest Street

Baldwin street is recognised by Guinness World Records as the world’s steepest residential street.  The street is 350 metres long, rising from 30m to 100m above sea level. Each year, the Baldwin Street Gutbuster sees runners race each other to the top and back, with the record of 1 minute and 56 seconds.

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