With stunning views of the ocean from the very hilly outcrops, a cultural scene jam-packed with historical goodies, and one of the most thriving arts (and drinking) scenes in all of NZ, the seriously southerly city of Dunedin is well worth at least a few days on your South Island adventure.
For anything edible (or drinkable) in Dunedin, you can sniff out a bargain at the Dunedin Farmers Market, so be sure to turn up hungry! Check out some top-notch kiwi culture (sheep not included) at the Public Art Gallery, or soak up some dyed-in-the-wool (ha, ha!) Dunedin heritage at the Otago Settlers Museum.
Sheep jokes aside, however, much as we like to poke fun at the Kiwis, Dunedin is one place where they’ve really got it right.
Dunedin’s Top 10
10. Dunedin Botanical Gardens Chock-full of themed areas as well as a massive aviary. Actually puts some Aussie botanical gardens to shame.
5. Baldwin Street Youmay need an oxygen tank on standby when you trek up the world’s steepest residential street.
9. Larnach Castle Obviously, the term ‘castle’ is applied loosely here, but this stunning manor house is worth a visit for its fascinating history.
4. Forsyth Barr Stadium The newest edition to the Dunedin landscape, this colossal rugby stadium replaces the infamous ‘House of Pain’.
8. New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame Test out your sporting skills as you challenge the records of NZ’s elite.
3. Tempe Gallery Once a 19th century synagogue, this building now oozes all kinds of artistic talent.
7. Fortune Theatre Complete with ghost, the world’s southernmost theatre has been putting on top-notch productions for over 40 years.
2. Cadbury World Throw your willpower out of the window and immerse yourself in choccie heaven.
6. Speight’s Brewery For a history lesson you will want to pay attention to, take a tour and taste some of the best beer in Dunedin.
1. Otago Museum From the Jurassic to the present day, these exhibits include an impressive old Maori war canoe.
Head to the Thieves Alley Market Day in February for some killer bargains.
Lanterns, lanterns everywhere on the longest night of the year. Celebrate at the Dunedin Midwinter Carnival in June.
For a celebration of world cinema (not just The Lord of the Rings), visit Dunedin for the International Film Festival in July/August.
For some traditional fare from the motherland, sport your best British colours for the Last Night of the Proms in September. Anyone else think it should be called ‘Last Night of the Poms’…?
For springtime festivities, the Dunedin Rhododendron Festival each October is bloomin’ marvellous!
When To Go
- Dunedin has four distinct seasons, all of which are just a bit cooler than Oz.
- Summer is bright and sunny, with temps averaging around 25°C (77°F).
- Winter is equally beautiful, with frost overnight and the occasional snowfall.
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Dunedin has a cheap bus service that will get you all around town.
Unless you plan on tackling the crazy incline of Baldwin Street, Dunedin is relatively flat and riding your bike is a great way to see the sights.
Dunedin doesn’t have a train line, so hiring a car for a few days is a pretty good option.
One of the genuine, under-the-radar destinations of New Zealand, Dunedin is the fifth most populous city in the country. The South Island gem has rich Maori heritage and many important landmarks that date back to the mid-19th century gold rush era, when Dunedin became New Zealand's first real city. Now home to close to 125,000 people, the city holds the distinction of being the most remote in the world from London, England.
In terms of tourist appeal, there's a lot to appreciate about Dunedin. The city sits on a natural harbour on the edge of the Otago Peninsula, a superb spot for sheer beauty and first-class ecotourism. The area is home to a wide range of endemic flora, wildlife and seabirds in particular. Points of interest in the city range from volcanic Mount Cargill, for spectacular views of Dunedin and Otago Peninsula, St. Paul's Cathedral and the only castle in New Zealand - Larnach Castle.
Attractions & Activities
Restaurants & Nightlife
Dunedin has a temperate climate, with mild conditions throughout the year.
- Summer (December to February) 10-19°C
- Fall (March to May) 6-18°C
- Winter (June to September) 3-13°C
- Spring (October to November) 7-16°C
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28 hotels in Dunedin
Welcome to the Leviathan Hotel Dunedin. Centrally located in the city, the Leviathan Hotel offers travellers and tourists, convenient, comfortable accommodation, and hospitality at affordable... More
Park Regis Dunedin is a boutique hotel, featuring a downtown location, cosy accommodation and convenient facilities to make your stay in Dunedin a pleasant one. GeneralPark Regis Dunedin has two... More
Scenic Hotel Dunedin City provides travellers stylish accommodations while exploring in the area. Chocolate lovers will surely take pleasure at the nearby Cadbury World for a tour of the chocolate... More
Dating back to 1883, the Southern Cross hotel now blends Dunedin's distinctive charm and heritage with the modern day comforts guests demand in a world-class hotel. General A well equipped... More
The Brothers Boutique Hotel is a unique stately residence, providing a genuine heritage experience. General A guest lounge with Sky TV and broadband internet access is provided at the Brothers... More
Whether in Dunedin for business trip or leisure vacation, travellers find suitable base at The Victoria Hotel Dunedin. The value-for-money property delivers comfortable accommodations, gracious... More
Hulmes Court B&B Dunedin is a beautiful 1860's Victorian mansion and an architectural treasure that provides you with a warm, friendly and informative stay in the beautiful city of Dunedin. ... More
Welcome to Alexis Motor Lodge & Motels, Central City Dunedin Motel Accommodation For modern, high quality, central city Dunedin motel accommodation, stay at Alexis Motor Lodge and Motels. Your best... More
Offering a convenient location and presenting elegant accommodation, the Quality Hotel Cargills Dunedin is an ideal place for an enjoyable vacation. GeneralQuality Hotel Cargills Dunedin offers... More