Dunedin Railway Station | Image credit: Megan Simpson, Flickr
Dune-who? This laid-back coastal town is relatively well hidden in the southeast corner of New Zealand. However, Dunedin has a whole lot to offer tourists savvy enough to find her. Here are just five cool things you'll discover:
1. More Food Than You Know What To Do With
Well, chances are you'll know exactly what to do, but still, good luck getting through all of Dunedin's mouth-watering menus in one trip. The emphasis here is on fine dining, with local favourites including Etrusco at the Savoy, where impeccable Italian is served between the stained-glass windows of The Savoy, and Gaslight Restaurant and Wine Bar, where you can sample various wines from the menu and pick the best to accompany your meal. Also worth mentioning are Parcels Restaurant within the 4.5-star Distinction Dunedin Hotel, and Speight's Alehouse, where guided tours of Speight's Brewery are available just next door.
2. A Spectacular Stadium
Forsyth Barr Stadium | Image credit: Stephen Murphy, Flickr
Also known as 'the glasshouse', Forsyth Barr Stadium is New Zealand's biggest and most versatile indoor events arena. The stadium's awesome transparent roof allows sunlight to illuminate the natural turf below and keeps the venue running through all weather conditions. Having already hosted the likes of Elton John and the Rugby World Cup, Forsyth Barr Stadium has a proven record of bringing performances and events to life. So, whether you're there to cheer on the All Blacks or Fleetwood Mac, any spectacle at Forsyth Barr Stadium is sure to be, well… spectacular.
The Otago Peninsula, toward Dunedin's east, is an ecologically-rich area home to sea lions, rare penguins, fur seals, and the only mainland-breeding colony of albatross in the world. In fact, Dunedin has been called New Zealand's 'wildlife capital', and renowned environmentalist David Bellamy has lauded its resulting industry as the "finest example of eco-tourism in the world". You can choose one of many guided tours, or explore the area with only a camera and your feet to guide you.
4. Street Art (That Lives Up To Its Cred)
A Dunedin Street Mural | Image credit: Bryce Edwards, Flickr
Dunedin has a deep love (and a rich history) of art. The latest development in Dunedin's mission to spread creativity was the commissioning of spectacular murals to bring its streets to life. Dozens of blank walls have already been transformed into incredible works of art by local and international artists, with more masterpieces to come. Organisers have even designed a street art trail with free maps to guide you on a 90 minute walking tour of 25 stunning artworks.
5. Fly-in/Fly-out Convenience
It might come as a pleasant surprise that this unassuming town has its own international airport. So if you want to start your New Zealand trip somewhere other than Auckland—or, if you've found your way to Dunedin and decided that your trip couldn't possibly get any better—you'll have the option to fly straight in or out of the country. Dunedin International Airport also has a number of great duty free stores which let you pre-order goods to be collected upon arrival or departure… it doesn't get much more convenient than that.
So, the next time you're bound for New Zealand, take a step off the beaten track and discover what delights there are to be found in Dunedin.