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Outdoors

Top 11 things to do in Dunedin & Otago Peninsula

  • 4 minutes

Where to go and what to see

Rejoice art and heritage buffs. Dunedin is home to an authentic castle complete with ghostly tales. Elaborate stone buildings wrapped around innovative street murals and galleries invite visitors to snap photos of glorious railway stations. Linger in a Olveston, an outstanding heritage  mansion. Outdoors the brisk southern climate is home to soaring magnificent albatross and adorable waddling rare penguins. Dunedin is a town with a story to tell. Don’t miss out. Pop Dunedin onto your must-go bucket list when you visit New Zealand.

Larnach Castle in Dunedin, New Zealand
Larnach Castle
  1. LARNACH CASTLE

Fobiles and scandals of a 19th politician are the backdrop for Larnach Castle. An elaborate confection of Victorian grandeur including turrets and castle towers today the beautifully restored buildings are a visitor highlight. Manicured gardens, cafe and gift shop offer a year round must-do experience.

What to do nearby Larnach Castle?

TIP

Aramoana spit and the Mole is fascinating.

  1. DUNEDIN RAILWAY STATION

Grab a selfie with the sweeping vista of South Island bluestone and traditional garden beds as a memory moment of time spent in Dunedin sightseeing. Discover a sports museum in its depths and ponder about the effort that went into the marble floors and stained glass windows.

What to do nearby Dunedin Railway Station?

  • Enjoy a short stroll to the Dunedin Art Gallery
  • Pop into the Octagon visitor information centre for up to date happenings
Historical Railway Station of Dunedin, New Zealand
Historical Railway Station of Dunedin
Olveston Historic Home in Dunedin, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Olveston Historic Home in Dunedin
  1. OLVESTON HOUSE

Unmissable heritage Olveston House encourages visitors to take a step back in time. The early 1900’s mansion provides visitors with a glimpse into the lives of the rich at the beginning of the twentieth century.

What to do nearby Olveston House?

  • Join a heritage walk around Dunedin with Hair Raising Tours and discover what is lurking down quiet alleyways
  1. ROYAL ALBATROSS CENTRE

Otago Peninsula is wind swept with the stormy Southern oceans the ideal habitat for the Royal Albatross. Perched adjacent to the only breeding grounds of the Royal Albatross. A tour of the centre and time spent glued to the viewing windows is a must-do holiday attraction on the Otago Peninsula.

What to do nearby the Royal Albatross Centre, Otago Peninsula?

  • Spend time exploring the historic heart of Port Chalmers
  • Support the conservation efforts of Penguin Place dedicated to the preservation of the rare yellow-eyed Penguin population. The reserve has stunning views of the Otago Harbour.
Royal Albatross Centre, Otago, New Zealand @Albatross
Royal Albatross Centre @Albatross
Octagon, central meeting point, New Zealand
Octagon, central meeting point in Dunedin
  1. THE OCTAGON, DUNEDIN CENTRAL MEETING POINT

Spend time being a local in the eight sided plaza with plenty of cafes and shops to browse. Check out the Dunedin Art Gallery or get tickets for the latest show at the Regent Theatre.

What to do nearby the Octagon, Dunedin?

  • Go for a wander and discover an amazing collection of street murals.
  1. BALDWIN STREET

It’s time to seriously stretch the legs and stagger up the world’s steepest street.

What to do nearby Baldwin street, Dunedin?

  • Find out why the Dunedin Botanic Gardens are considered one of the southern hemisphere’s best collections of cool climate plants and flowers
  • Got enough energy to climb Signal Hill overlooking the harbour and city?
Baldwin Street in the Dunedin of New Zealand
Baldwin Street in the Dunedin
Signal Hill, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand @grannyanniessweetshop
Signal Hill, Dunedin @grannyanniessweetshop
  1. SIGNAL HILL – FIND A WORLD CLASS VIEW

Explore the promontory rising above the Dunedin Harbour. For those who the walk is a step too far there is road access to a visitor’s carpark. Mountain bikers weave through forested trails.

What to do nearby Signal Hill, Dunedin?

  • Locate the memorial commemorating New Zealand’s 100th anniversary (1940) and the weathered bronze statues of two stylised Scottish settlers.
  1. JOIN A DUNEDIN HARBOUR CRUISE

An ocean rich in marine life supports whales, dolphins and endangered penguins. Get out and about view the harbour from the sea. Join Monarch Wildlife Cruises and get a water side view of the Otago Peninsula.

What to do in conjunction with an Otago Harbour cruise?

  • Spend time in Port Chalmers discovering heritage cemeteries and finding out about ghosts that allegedly lurk in 19th century pubs
@MonarchWildlife
@MonarchWildlife
TIP

Check out the Top 11 Otago Peninsula Attractions.

Old Dunedin Prison, Dunedin, New Zealand @2018 Richard F. Ebert
Old Dunedin Prison @2018 Richard F. Ebert
  1. DUNEDIN HISTORIC PRISON & FORMER POLICE STATION

Nothing like the clang and bang of 19th century prison cells to invoke an era of harsh discipline and courtyard executions. The prison grounds are only open on guided Saturday tours.

What to do nearby Dunedin Historic prison?

  • Take in the magnificent grandeur of the Dunedin Railway Station, one of New Zealand’s most photographed buildings
  • Visit Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
  1. ST CLAIR BEACH & HOT SALT WATER POOLS

Hang out at the beach and watch wetsuit clad surfers brave the elements. Soak in warm salt water pools as the Pacific Ocean pounds the rocks below. Enjoy a leisurely brunch in the many esplanade cafes and restaurants

What to do nearby St Clair beach, Dunedin?

  • St Clair beach is nearby the Octagon and the historic precinct of Dunedin with the Railway Station, Historic Prison and art galleries within walking distance. (distance 5.3 km)
The popular surf beach and Esplanade at St Clair in the south of the Dunedin capital city of Otago South Island New Zealand
The popular surf beach and Esplanade at St Clair
Dunedin Railway Station Platform, Otago, New Zealand
Dunedin Railway Station Platform
  1. TRAIN LOVERS DELIGHT

Discover heritage train journeys during the summer season in Dunedin. Relax and enjoy the commentary as the train clacks its way along the coast to the village of Waitati on The Seasider, through the spectacular Taieri River Gorge on The Inlander or on a culture-packed day trip to the historic town of Oamaru on The Victorian. For more information check out Dunedin Railways.

TIP

Mobility issues, then this is a great way to get outdoors and view the countryside from the comfort of your train seat.

Dunedin & Otago peninsula places to see location

And need more holiday ideas what to do and see in Dunedin & Otago Peninsula, check out the travel guide and get going.

 

BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE

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

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