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Top Dunedin Attractions

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by Gypsy Rose (subscribe)
I am a travel writer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and food! I love travelling and discovering hidden gems... experience the journey on Instragram! @gypsy_compass
Published May 10th 2018
A region filled with unique landscape & interesting cultural history
Dunedin not only offers spectacular landscapes, wildlife and local history, it is also a city that was built with the riches of the gold rush, and has one of the best collections of Edwardian and Victorian architecture in the Southern Hemisphere. You will find Gothic church spires, orate mansions, swathes of native forest and breathtaking views, which all make up some of the attractions that make Dunedin a place to visit and explore.

There is something for all interests at the picturesque Dunedin region.


The list below features free & ticketed attractions across Dunedin for all interests to enjoy, explore and experience:

Hidden gems can be discovered across Dunedin.


1. Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
Where: 31 Queens Gardens, Dunedin
When: All year round: 10am-5pm (Closed Christmas Day)
Cost: Free
Details: This museum is for all the history buffs! Discover New Zealand's unique story as well as the stories of Dunedin's European pioneers with exhibitions, themed galleries, models, displays, interactive displays and more. Click here for the website.

Image Courtesy from Toitū Otago Settlers Museum Facebook


2. Olveston Historic Home & Gardens
Where: 47 Royal Terrace, North Dunedin
When: Daily: 9am-5pm
Cost: Adults: $20.50pp, Dunedin residents: $16.50pp, & Children: $11.50pp. Entry to gardens is free.
Details: This two-in-one attraction features history as well as the gardens, which are of National Significance. Set on 1-acre of spectacular manicured lawns including a working kitchen garden with exotic and native plants, stocked greenhouse, croquet garden, hidden paths, and viewing points all make up the Gardens at Olveston Historic Home. There are guided tours of the beautiful Historic Home. Click here for the website.

Explore the Olveston Historic Home- Image Courtesy from Olveston Historic Home Facebook


3. Dunedin's Beaches
Explore Dunedin's beaches which are a few minutes drive from the city centre. Catch a surf at St Claire, Aramoana, Murdering Bay and Karitane - which offers good breaks too. For swimming beaches, Brighton Beach offers a wonderful swimming experience and is a 20-minute drive from Dunedin. Long Beach is good for rock climbing and features huge caves waiting to be explored, while Tunnel Beach showcases a spectacular sandstone sea arch, which is best visited at low tide.

4. Dunedin Street Art Trail
Experience 25 vibrant and whimsical artworks from local and international artists painted on huge blank-wall canvases. The walk takes around 90-minutes and you can pick up a copy of the trail map at the Dunedin i-SITE Visitor Centre or join a guided tour with Small City Walks. Click here for the website.

Be sure to check out the impressive street art! Image Courtesy from Dunedin Street Art Facebook


5. Taieri Gorge Railway (Dunedin Railway Station)
Where: 22 Anzac Ave, Dunedin
When: All year round: Weekdays: 8:30am-5pm & Weekends: 9am-2:30pm
Cost: Free to visit- for train ride tickets see website
Details: The historic Dunedin Railway Station takes passengers on one of the most picturesque journeys through the Central Otago hinterland. Travel across the Taieri Plains and into the deep and narrow Taieri Gorge or ride over the Wingatui Viaduct, the largest wrought iron structure in the world. For all departing times, see the website.

Where will you go?


If you are short on time, you will not be disappointed, as a walk around Taieri Gorge Railway offers a stunning look back into time (1906) when this magnificent Renaissance-style station was built. Click here for the website.

Architecture & history enthusiasts will be in awe with the striking Dunedin Train Station.


6. Larnach Castle & Gardens
Where: 145 Camp Rd, Dunedin
When: All year round. See website for all times.
Cost: Castle, Gardens & Grounds access: Adults: $31pp, Children (4-15yrs): $10pp, Children under 4 free & Family (2 adults up to 4 kids): $72
Gardens & Grounds only: Adults: $15.50pp, Children (5-14yrs): $5pp & Children under 4yrs free and Garden Pass only: Adults: $25pp, Children (5-14yrs): $15pp & Children under 4yrs free.
Details: Larnach Castle is New Zealand's only castle and is a very much loved piece of Dunedin history. It was built in 1871 by William Larnach, a merchant and politician born of Scottish parents. The Castle has been carefully restored to its original Victorian grandeur and features beautiful rooms and gardens. It boasts a 3,000 square foot ballroom, which hosts High Tea at 3pm daily. There are self-guided and guided tours available which include exploring the tower, ballroom, cafe, gift shop, gardens, grounds, historic stables and outbuildings. Click here for the website.

Visit a piece of Otago's history at the stunning Larnach Castle. Image Courtesy from Larnach Castle Facebook


7. Orokonui Eco Sanctuary
Where: 600 Blueskin Rd, Pine Hill
When: All year round: 9:30am-4:30pm
Cost: Adults: $19pp, Children (5-18yrs): $9.50pp, Children under 5yrs free & Family (2 adults 3 children): $47.50 for guided-tour prices see website.
Details: Dunedin is home to some of the most magnificent wildlife including the world's only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross. The sanctuary is home to 17 species of native birds including the cute kiwi, tuatara lizards, butterflies and insects, fish & eels, fungi, reptiles, scenic walking track and much more. You can do a self-guided tour or for an extra charge, a guided-tour. Click here for the website.

Image Courtesy from Orokonui Ecosanctuary Facebook


8. Otago Peninsula
Where: See website.
When: All year round
Cost: Free
Details: This picturesque spot is home to the Little Blue Penguins, Yellow-eyed Penguins, fur seals and sea lions and the spectacular Royal Albatross, all making this natural attraction one not to miss! You can join a Monarch Wildlife Cruise for wildlife encounters on land or on water. Click here for the website.

Explore the wonders of Otago Peninsula- Image Courtesy from Otago Peninsula Trust Facebook


9. Cycling & Mountain Biking
Where: See website.
When: All year round
Cost: Free
Details: Dunedin's compact city layout and flat runs make it a great place to enjoy cycling with breathtaking countryside views. Signal Hill is a 40-minute ride from the city centre and features the best downhill track in the country! Middlemarch forms the start of the famous Otago Central Rail Trail and is a 150km trail passing historic gold mining sites, country pubs, and peaceful golden-hued landscapes.

Explore the natural wonders with the many cycling & mountain biking trails- Image Courtesy from Otago Central Rail Trail Facebook


10. Literature Attractions
Where: See website.
When: All year round
Cost: Free
Details: Dunedin is a UNESCO designated City of Literature and the town's central Octagon displays a statue of Robert Burns and has its own Writers Walk a series of plaques, featuring entertaining and informative quotes about Dunedin and its heritage. Rare manuscripts can be found at the Reed and de Beer Galleries, making it a must visit for bibliophiles. Dutybound Book Bindery is a great attraction to see old binding techniques in action or for series browsing, Hard to Find Bookshop, Stafford 6 Books or the University Book Shop. Click here for the website.

11. Fletcher House
Where: 727 Portobello Rd, Broad Bay
When: Weekends & Public Holidays only: 11am-4pm (Closed Christmas Day)
Cost: $10pp
Details: Heritage comes alive at this attraction! Fletcher House is New Zealand's only fully restored and furnished Edwardian, built in 1909 by Sir James Fletcher. There are guided tours available. Click here for the website.

12. Royal Albatross Centre
Where: 1260 Harrington Point Rd, Dunedin
When: Summer: From 10:15am-dusk (tours from 11am) & Winter: 10:15am- dusk (tours from 10:30am)
Cost: Free entry- See website for tour prices.
Details: The Royal Albatross Centre is your chance to see the world's only mainland Royal Albatross breeding colony! A visit here includes an exclusive observatory on the nature reserve to see the spectacular giant albatross throughout their breeding cycle as they court, lay eggs and raise their adorable huge fluffy chicks. This attraction is truly unique and a must visit for everyone - not just bird enthusiasts. Click here for the website.

Image Courtesy from The Royal Albatross Centre Facebook


13. Hair Raiser Ghost Walk
Where: Outside the I-Site Visitor Centre
When: April-September: From 6pm & October-March: From 8pm
Cost: Adults: $35pp & Children (15yrs & under): $20pp
Details: Established in 1999, this attraction is Dunedin's original, authentic ghost walk and has proven to be the city's premier night attraction. The walk includes an experienced local guide and takes you on a journey into the darker corners of the inner city as you discover the truth behind Dunedin's ghost sightings. Click here for the website.

Be spooked with the Hair Raiser Ghost Tour attraction. Image Courtesy from Hair Raiser Ghost Tours Facebook


14. Otago Museum
Where: 419 Great King St, North Dunedin
When: All year round: 10am-5pm (Closed Christmas Day)
Cost: Free
Details: For over 150 years, the museum has been home to world-class collections of over 1.5 million objects. The museum also showcases culture, science, telling stories of nature, displays, themed exhibits, galleries, hands-on exhibits, and much more. Click here for the website.

Image Courtesy from Otago Museum Facebook


15. Gallery De Novo
Where: 101 Stuart St, Dunedin
When: See website for all times.
Cost: Free
Details: This attraction is Dunedin's most exciting Art Gallery and showcases a large collection of contemporary New Zealand art. There are painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and jewellery exhibitions as well as regular exhibitions on the mezzanine level. Click here for the website.

Image Courtesy from Gallery De Novo Facebook


16. Dunedin Botanic Garden
Where: 12 Opoho Rd, North Dunedin
When: All year round: Dawn-Dusk
Cost: Free
Details: Sitting on 30.4 hectares, Dunedin Botanic Gardens is the oldest in the country and is home to over 6,800 plant species, sunny lawns, scenic hill views, birdlife including the native Bellbird, Tui and Wood Pigeon, formal garden beds, winter garden glasshouse, New Zealand native plant collections, lakes and much more. You can book guided tours. Click here for the website.

Discover the beauty at Dunedin Botanic Garden.


17. Dunedin Chinese Garden
Where: Cnr Rattray & Cumberland Streets, Dunedin
When: All year round: 10am-5pm (Closed Christmas Day)
Cost: Adults: $9pp, Children under 13yrs Free, Guided Tours: $20pp
Details: This authentic Chinese Garden is located in the heart of the city and displays hand-made wooden buildings, garden exhibits, hand-made tiles, bricks and lattice-work and hand-finished granite paving stones and more. The gardens also showcase tea shop, gift shop, opportunities to feed goldfish, try on authentic costumes of emperors and princesses, and enjoy Chinese-style puzzles and board games. Click here for the website.

Enjoy the tranquility at the stunning Dunedin Chinese Gardens. Image Courtesy from The Dunedin Chinese Garden Facebook


18. Otago Goldfields Trail
Where: See website.
When: All year round
Cost: Free
Details: This attraction is like a giant outdoor museum with its exciting walkways and mountain bike trails and opportunities to see weathered remains of human endeavour from 1860s. There are more than 20 separate Gold Mining locations to discover. Click here for the website.

Explore the spectacular & breathtaking beauty at the Otago Goldfields Trail- Image Courtesy from Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust Facebook


19. University of Otago
Where: 362 Leith St, North Dunedin
When: All year round.
Cost: Free
Details: Of all of New Zealand, Dunedin has the largest concentration of grand Victorian and Edwardian buildings, and the University's Clock Tower is a spectacular architectural landmark to see. It was founded in 1869 and is the oldest tertiary education establishment. Its Registry Building is often referred to as the Clocktower Building and is a Dunedin landmark. Click here for the website.

The famous & iconic Tower at University of Otago


20. Cadbury World Experience
Where: 280 Cumberland St, Dunedin
When: See website
Cost: Adults: $22pp, Children (15yrs & under): $16pp. Pre-Schooler: $6pp & Family (2 adults 2 children): $55
Details: This indulgent attraction features a tour into the delicious world of Cadbury chocolate. Follow your guide as you discover where the magic is made and sample different elements of the chocolate making process.Click here for the website.

Cadbury World Experience is the perfect attraction for chocolate lovers!
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Why? Explore the wonders of Dunedin
When: All year round
Where: Dunedin, New Zealand
Cost: Free & Ticketed attractions- see above
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