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Outdoors

Dunedin attractions, things to do for free

  • 3 minutes

The Best Bits are always free and Dunedin does not disappoint with walks, museums, galleries and gorgeous gardens to wander around.

Sandymount and Sandfly Bay, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand @Hiking the World
Sandymount and Sandfly Bay, Dunedin @Hiking the World

WALKS, GETTING OUTDOORS

Outdoors Aotearoa New Zealand genuine freeby is a walk with beaches, rolling hills and native bush + awesome views a nature buffet for the senses.

  • SANDYMOUNT WALK, Otago Peninsula is a short walk of 2.8 km (return) to natural rock caves and lovers’ leap. Scenery is diverse from macrocarpa trees, rolling farmland and windswept tussocks. There are numerous photo opportunities.
TIP

Take a jacket as parts of the walk are exposed + sunscreen. As the track crosses private land, it is closed for lambing 1 September to 15 October. No dogs allowed.

  • DOCTORS POINT is another amazing beach, cliff top walk with Lovers Leap, rock caves and beaches where rare penguins can be viewed
  • Signal Hill with its amazing basalt organ pipe rock forms and great views of the city is a firm favourite although small legs (kids) might find the numerous steps and steep bits off putting
Signal Hill, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand @grannyanniessweetshop
Signal Hill, Dunedin @grannyanniessweetshop
Portobello, Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, New Zealand @Ulrich Lange
Portobello, Otago Peninsula @Ulrich Lange

IS THERE A PUBLIC BUS SERVICE AROUND THE OTAGO PENINSULA?

Yes, there is an Otago peninsula public bus service however it is infrequent … you must check beforehand to avoid being stuck. Check out City – Portobello (Harington Point) where small galleries and studios and a local pub are the makings of a day exploring the Otago Peninsula.

TIP

Port Chalmers is well worth a public bus visit as the service is several times a day. For details check out 14 – Port Chalmers – City and Port Chalmers heritage trail, where to go and what to see is useful.

GARDENS

Dunedin does not disappoint with glorious public spaces such as Dunedin Botanic Gardens with free entry:

  • Woodhaugh Gardens with is family friendly playground
  • Dunedin Botanic Gardens has a kids friendly playground and kids walk
  • Romantic moments in the Chinese sculpture garden or among the spring rhododendrons
Dunedin Botanic Garden summer days, Dunedin, New Zealand
Dunedin Botanic Gardens summer days
Old Dunedin Prison, Dunedin, New Zealand @2018 Richard F. Ebert
Old Dunedin Prison @2018 Richard F. Ebert

CAN YOU VISIT THE DUNEDIN HISTORIC PRISON AN FORMER POLICE STATION FOR FREE?

No, you can’t enter the premises of the Dunedin Historic Prison & former Police Station unless you are on a paid Saturday guided tour managed by the Dunedin Prison Trust.

WANDER THE STREETS OF DUNEDIN FOR FREE

  • Street art and enormous murals are the stuff of imagination and dreams. And it’s free to walk the streets finding out what’s around the next corner
  • Take the public bus to BALDWIN STREET and stagger up the world’s steepest street
  • LINGER around the Octagon on the Heritage Walk
Baldwin Street in the Dunedin of New Zealand
Baldwin Street in the Dunedin
Cycling in Dunedin, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand @kerryfrominvers
Cycling in Dunedin @kerryfrominvers

IS IT EASY TO CYCLE (BIKE) YOUR WAY AROUND DUNEDIN?

It is not easy to bike in Dunedin due to the many steep hills and narrow streets however for the intrepid adventurers it is a definite option.

TIP

Cycling enthusiasts consider the option of Dunedin Cycling Trip from Port Chalmers to Aramoana Spit – Best Bits.

MUSEUMS & ART GALLERIES

Stuffy boring museums do not exist in Dunedin.

  • TOITU SETTLERS MUSEUM. Image free entry to a tropical butterfly forest or an attic full of weird objects and stuffed animals. The Toitu Settlers Museum is focused on the story of Dunedin and the oldest history museum in New Zealand.
  • Octagon’s DUNEDIN ART GALLERY is funky, fun and full of things to touch and wonder about and, of course free entry
  • DUNEDIN RAILWAY STATION is home to the SPORTS MUSEUM, glorious Victorian architecture and a great spot for your holiday selfie
Historic Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand @davidwallphoto
Historic Railway Station, Dunedin @davidwallphoto
TIP

Check out Cheap eats, Dunedin’s foodie treats that are budget friendly.

Royal Albatross Centre, Otago, New Zealand @Albatross
Royal Albatross Centre, Otago @Albatross

CAN YOU VIEW THE ROYAL ALBATROSS FOR FREE IN DUNEDIN?

Not really, the only way to view the royal albatross in Dunedin is by guided tour only. There is no public access or self-guided free options.

The Royal Albatross Centre with its interactive exhibition centre, gift shop and cafe has free entry

BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE

Best Bits travel guide is published by nzjane.com. Owned and managed by PacificJane Ltd.

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