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Dunedin New Zealand

Updated on March 31, 2015

About Dunedin

Dunedin is a small city in New Zealand...

What could be happening in a small place such as this I hear you ask? Lots!

This is one of the southern most cities of the world and definitely worth checking out!

Come with us, and read all about Dunedin. We have covered it all, from sights to see,and things to do, to restaurants and cafes, the food, the people, the fashion, the history, and much much more...

Aerial view of Dunedin


Source Tourism NZ


An Introduction

People have been writing about Dunedin for some time now. Perhaps Mark Twain was the first?

It was Mark Twain, who once said of Dunedin's Scots settlers, "They stopped here on their way from home to heaven - thinking they had arrived."

The passage is in his travelogue, following the Equator, widely instanced as one of the first true classics of modern travel writing.

A day or two previously he had landed in Bluff (known as the southernmost point of New Zealand) and having come from Tasmania he had made his way over to our beautiful southern city.

It was 1895 and Mark Twain was on a world speaking tour on account of the fact that he had financial difficulties and was gravely in debt and he needed to "sing for his supper" and as a humorous travel writer that was how Mark Twain first became widely known.

Dunedin is highly regarded as one of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian heritage cities outside of Great Britain. Yet it is 12,000 miles away (we're only talking approximately here-give or take a few miles)

When walking about Dunedin, one can see that Edwardian architecture was the hallmark of most buildings constructed within the city, and some great examples of this can be seen at St Paul's Cathedral, the restored Town Hall, Olveston House, and of course our own Dunedin Railway Station! (perhaps the most photographed building in the entire country-more about that later)

Dunedin was formerly known as New Edinburgh to the Scots but the city's name was later changed to Edinburgh's old Celtic name, Dunedin (Dun Edin, meaning Edin on the Hill)

The heritage feel of Dunedin is a legacy of Otago's 1860s gold rush, which briefly turned this port city into the industrial centre of New Zealand. The boom did not last, but Dunedin developed a solid tradition for education.

Nowadays, it is considered to be the quintessential university city, with a total population of over 122,000 people living here, one fifth of them would be students. The University of Otago, is New Zealand's oldest and most pre-eminent University located near the heart of this interesting town, making this one of the most easily accessible campuses in the world.

Dunedin's rich heritage infused with its contemporary life style still attracts many today. It has produced a surprising number of successful fashion designers and contemporary jewellers making this a truly unique home. As a label designer ourselves, with our main New Zeland office located in Dunedin, Louie-Thomas is proud to be a part of that same 'Dunedin vibe'. Since moving back from Vietnam (where our workshops are located) to Australasia in 2006 we have enjoyed the lifestyle that the city has to offer like any other visitor to these shores.

We would love to see you there!

Written by Dahn Blanchard

Downtown Dunedin

Downtown Dunedin, truly a place worth exploring

New Zealand - Kiwis crossing here


Dunedin Railway Station - The most photographed building in the country


Dunedin was linked to Christchurch by rail in 1878 and at the time it had become a very important and major commercial centre.

This was the fourth railway station built for the city.Taking three years to complete, the station was opened by Prime Minister Ward in 1906. The construction of the building was kept within budget, and cost £40,000. Today it is one of the most photographed buildings in all of New Zealand.

On every Saturday one can also visit the Dunedin 'Farmers market' which is held next to the main platform here. It is a great place where locals mix with students to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, drink coffee or listen to musicians play.

Picture taken by Dahn Blanchard

Half day excursions from Dunedin - Acknowledgements kiwi rail


Catch the Seasider train for a half day adventure from Dunedin Railway Station to Palmerston, taking

in the spectacular view of the Pacific Coast.Half day excursions by train from Dunedin can be a fun and an awesome way of discovering the maginificent countryside on the edge of this southern city.Please phone the booking office on (03) 477-4449. Taieri Gorge Railway Limited

Source Kiwi rail

Old Dunedin courthouse - This is located opposite the station.


Dunedin the city of wildlife


In Dunedin it is a great opportunity to visit the beautiful Otago peninsula, and to discover the local wildlife that inhabit the surrounding beaches.

Explore the Otago peninsula - Sandfly bay


I just visited beautiful Sandfly bay in October 2013. It is located on the peninsula, and one of those 'out of the way' places worth checking out!

We really enjoyed Sandfly bay. It is a special reserve for sea lions and leopards, and of course that is what you will find lazing on the white sandy beach below.

We were just overwhelmed at how unspoilt this beach really was. One of my new favourite beaches! I've scored it 10/10 for the beauty, and also for the wildlife on the beach!


Where to see an albatross


Dunedin's Otago peninsula The Royal Albatross Colony at Taiaroa Head, on the tip of the Otago Peninsula, New Zealand, is the only mainland breeding colony for any albatross species found in the southern hemisphere. The first Taiaroa-reared albatross chick flew in 1938 and this now protected nature reserve has grown into an established colony with a population of around 140 birds.

The sight of a soaring albatross is unforgettable - held aloft on slim wings up to 3 metres (9'6") across, the great Albatross is capable of swooping speeds of more than 115kph. Viewing these majestic seabirds in their natural environment is not to be missed.

Visitors to the Royal Albatross Centre can view the interpretative wildlife displays, learn of the historical use of the area and experience the famous Unique Taiaroa guided tours, call +64 3 478-0499

Heading out to the Otago peninsula


At a glance

Some top sights

1/ DUNEDIN RAILWAY STATION and other historical buildings in this vicinity.....(ideal for a walking tour)

2/ DUNEDIN TRAIN TRIPS. Choose between the Taieri Gorge or the Seasider

Contact Railway station Tel +64 3 471 8042 for information about train trips.

3/ LARNACH CASTLE AND THE PENNISULA. Contact the castle Tel +64 3 476 1616

4/ ALBATROSS COLONY. Contact the colony Tel +64 3 478 0499

This is one of the biggest drawcards to NZ.Where else can you find an Albatross colony right on the outskirts of a city? Just a special place!

5/ OLVESTON. One of Dunedin's oldest stately homes. Contact for private tours and Info. Tel +64 3 477 3320

Worthy of a visit. A historic home that showcases the lifestyle of a privileged family in the early 1900s.

6/ CADBURY CHOCOLATE FACTORY. Tours around the factory.Find out more info about Cadbury world on the following link

7/ OTAGO MUSEUM. Tel +64 3 474 7474

8/ SPEIGHTS BREWERY.Still on the same site it has occupied since 1876, Speight's Brewery has become one of Dunedin and Otago's biggest icons. For more info Tel +64 3 477 7679


10/ CARGILLS CASTLE AND TUNNEL BEACH. Two sights worth checking out, but often not mentioned.

11/DUNEDIN ART GALLERY located in the heart of town, New Zealand's first art gallery established back in 1874.For info Tel +64 3 474 3240

12/DUNEDIN GALLERIES. A number of galleries dot the Dunedin landscape. They inlcude the following;

De Novo, The Artist's Room, Rocda, The Printmaker's Studio, Quadrant and Lagniappe. The Reed Gallery, The Hocken Gallery, The de Beer Gallery.A lot of these places are well within walking distance and deserve a visit.

Contact 'Dunedin Tourism' for further info Tel +64 3 471 8042

Around the city by double decker

Enjoy a 1.5 hour double decker bus tour around the city

A great introduction to the city. This is another option to check out.

Enjoy a 1.5 hour introductory tour to life and times in this 'city of firsts'.

A lookout over Dunedin harbour and city

Olveston stately home (set-down stop)

New Zealand's first botanical garden

New Zealand's first University

Dunedin's classic old railway station and courthouse precinct

The world's steepest street

Year Round: 9.00am, 10.30am, 1.00pm and 2.30pm

Website and links

PT Citibus

1 Transport Place

Princes St

Dunedin 9016

Phone: +64 3 477 5577

Video of Dunedin - Acknowledgement to tourism New Zealand

This is a short film about the city of Dunedin


Dunedin and Fashion

While the impression might be that Dunedin's fashion scene is something new, this is not entirely the case. Dunedin was in the late 1800s the leading garment manufacturing centre in New Zealand and at one time had 13 major department stores! Dunedin was also known as the city of style!

In terms of style however, a lot of good things are going on, a lot of artistic influences even, but perhaps to outsiders Dunedin is still typically viewed upon as a 'Gothic' city.

That may be a partial reminder of our architecture here, (and partly down to the climate as well) but locals (down here) seem to dress in black as well!

I think that Dunedin has a love affair with the color black. Perhaps it might be an unfair observation but I suspect there has to be an element of truth to it as well.

If I ever got bored (god forbid) and needed to occupy myself for the day I would most probably head to Dunedin International Airport. At least I could test out my theory and watch 'passengers' disembark off their planes (from whatever destinations they had come from) and tell within an instant who was from Dunedin.

The ones dressed in black-would be local 'Dunedinites' returning home to Dunedin and the ones dressed in brightly colored clothing would be tourists, or visitors from one of New Zealand's northern cities. I'm sure that's what my research would conclude! (hmm, it might be worth conducting!)

Despite the color 'black' obsession with (some?)locals, there is actually a lot of southern creativity going on down here as well!

Essentially I believe that Dunedin is a unique place, and every year the city proves that by staging the magnificent ID fashion show at the iconic Railway Station(this place is always having its photo taken).For a whole week this transforms the city into a parade of colorful open fashion shows and events, highlighting local designers, as well as those from abroad. If you are in town this is one show worth checking out! (Usually held in March of every year)

What a marvellous time for visitors to come to this beautiful city!

The Dunedin fashion show is on once a year at the Dunedin railway station.


About Louie-Thomas

Louie-Thomas is a fashion design label and a designer company based in Dunedin,and in the Gold coast.

We design an assortment of gorgeous gifts,from handbags, and purses to beautiful jewellery, to other fashion accessories. A lot of our products are designed in Dunedin, especially our bags and purses.

They are then made in our workshops up in Vietnam. We use a lot of natural materials such as silk, and velvet or suede and we take great pride in making our gift range focusing a lot on quality.

Our products are available in a number of select retail stores in Australia and New Zealand.

In Dunedin you can shop for them in Acquisitions (in the meridan mall) and the Otago Museum Gift shop. For further information on stockists please check out our website.

Louie-Thomas designing in Dunedin

Louie-Thomas links - A fantastic range of Louie-Thomas designs from Dunedin, NZ and Queensland, Australia

Some of our NZ designed handbags and purses can be found at these Dunedin stores,

The Otago Museum gift shop

Acquisitions(in the Mall)

Favourite Interiors

Where is Dunedin? - Roughly about halfway between the equator and the south pole

Dunedin, the city of wildlife is being rediscovered. The further south of New Zealand you go the more wild the landscape becomes.

It is located at Latitude: 45° 52', South. Longitude: 170° 30', East ...

This small southern city has a population of approximately 122,000 people:
Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand

get directions

Enjoy the Dunedin botanical gardens - Huge area of landscaped parklands within the city and nearby university


Larnach Castle


Larnach castle on the Otago peninsula - "The Larnach Years-A brief history"


The Story of William Larnach

William James Mudie Larnach , of Scottish descent, was born in 1833 in New South Wales, Australia.

Gold was discovered in Otago, New Zealand, in the 1860s. Larnach was offered the position of manager of the Bank of Otago in Dunedin, which serviced the extensive goldfields. He sailed for Dunedin in 1867.

Larnach's brilliant career encompassed his merchant empire Guthrie and Larnach, banking, shipping, farming, landholding, politics and ... speculation. He travelled extensively and was a cabinet minister, holding various portfolios, over a period of twenty five years.

Larnach was married three times and had six children. He was pre deceased by his first two wives and his eldest daughter, Kate. He took his own life in the New Zealand parliament buildings in 1898.

Building Larnach Castle

Larnach was a man of great vision and created a magnificent residence for himself and his family.

A story is told that William Larnach and one of his sons went for a horse ride along the top of the Otago Peninsula to choose the best site for their home. Today you can still see why this site was chosen as it has wonderful panoramic views of Dunedin, Otago Harbour, the Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean.

First the site was clear-felled, then the hill site was levelled by putting pegs into the volcanic rock and pouring salt water on them to split the rock. Approximately 200 men spent three years building the shell of the Castle and then gifted European craftsmen spent 12 years embellishing the interior.

Materials from all over the world were used - marble from Italy, slate from Wales, tiles from England, glass from Venice and France. No expense was spared in creating Larnach's dream home! Many New Zealand native woods were also used - kauri, rimu floors and honeysuckle panelling. In 1885 a 3000 square foot Ballroom was also added.

The Larnach Family

Larnach's first wife Eliza Guise, had six children - Donald, Douglas, Kate, Colleen, Alice and Gladys. Eliza died at the age of 38 when Gladys was still a baby. Larnach then married Eliza's half sister Mary Alleyne. They were married for 5 years when sadly Mary also died at the age of 38. Larnach then married a much younger lady, Constance de Bathe Brandon. Larnach was struck by tragedy when his favourite daughter Kate died in her 20s. The children were all sent to England for their education. This meant long sea voyages and a lot of time away from the Castle.

After Larnach's suicide in 1898 the family was torn apart by legal battles over Larnach's property as he died intestate. The family then sold the Castle in 1906..

Source Wikipedia and Larnach castle, Dunedin

Tunnel Beach - Rediscover Dunedin


Tunnel Beach, is located about two kilometres south of the city.This beach tunnel was actually hand carved in the 1870s by the early pioneers.

The Tunnel Beach walkway leads to a very idyllic and secluded beach near Dunedin.

Allow one hour for this walk.Tunnel Beach is located off the Dunedin to Brighton coastal road. The track starts from the car park at the seaward end of Green Island Bush Road, off Blackhead Road. Dunedin public transport is available to the carpark. The walkway is closed for lambing from 1st of Aug- 31 Oct.

Cargills castle an unknown attraction - New Zealand has two castles, both in Dunedin.


Well worth exploring. Cargills castle sits perched above the high cliffs of Dunedin.

Cargill's Castle is thought to be one of the most significant historic structures in Dunedin. It is now a ruin.

The mission of the Cargill's Castle Trust is to retain the castle as part of the cultural, historic and recreational fabric of Dunedin, for the benefit of Dunedin and visitors. The latest news is that the Trust has successfully been granted funds from the DCC Dunedin Hertiage Fund to undertake a conservation plan for the Castle in 2011 as part of the long term strategy to open the Castle up to the public.

Fingers crossed!

Currently it is only possible to view the castle from the outside.

The area is well worth exploring though.

Tunnel beach, another attraction is nearby, the path will take you through the cliffs below and out to the beach. It is considered to be a nice walk.

So do try to get out to this part of town if you can.

Source Cargills castle trust

The Chills- a Dunedin band - The Chills

Check out the Chills, a band that orginated from Dunedin, New Zealand

Dunedin art gallery - In the heart of the city

Dunedin art gallery
Dunedin art gallery

The art gallery in Dunedin was established in 1874. It became the first major art gallery in the country.

Walking up the steepest street in the world - If you like walking, this is a free,and fun activity.


The steepest grade is 1 in 2.86 with the steepest property/section at 70.6 metres, making this (according to the Guinness book of records) the steepest street in the world!

Baldwin street, Dunedin-the steepest street in the world! - According to the Guinness book of records


George Street-main street - A lot of excellent restaurants can be found along the main street of Dunedin

Great cafes, and restaurants in Dunedin and some hidden gems! - where to eat?


The heart of Dunedin is the Octagon, and from there it is a fairly gentle walk to most restaurants around town. It all depends on what kind of food you would like to try as Dunedin is spoilt for choice!

From casual to 'dress-up' dining, there are a variety of Dunedin restaurants that will suit your needs.

Posted below are just a few of my suggestions.


12 St Andrew Street

Dunedin 9016

This place has a combination of a Great Salad Bar, Steak, Seafood, Japanese & Thai food menu.

All you can eat smorgasbord buffet Lunch: $11.00 NZ

All you can eat smorgasbord buffet Dinner: $17.00 NZ

Add all you can drink from the drinks bar for just $3 extra!

In terms of value for money it is superb! You can't go wrong with a smorgasbord.

This restaurant also appears to be a popular haven for students, and they'd be pretty good at smelling out a bargain!

Phone: 03-479 2088


324 George Street

Dunedin 9016

What a great place for a quick and tasty meal!

If you like savoury dishes, and value for money then look no further.

For example

A bowl of Beef chow main noodles is only $9.00 or Chicken soup noodles is only $7.00

Sushi is also available here from between $5-8.00 Overall a very good and extensive menu that will suit most people's tastes.

This place comes highly recommended, and when you compare it to the food court in the Meridan mall, it comes a lot cheaper.

Phone: (03) 479 2079 Open Mon-Thu,Sun 10:30am-8pm; Fri-Sat 10:30am-8:30pm


133 Stuart Street

Dunedin 9016 (just off the Octagon in Central Dunedin)

This Japanese restaurant has a great selection of dishes. My favorite is the lunch time bento (a banquet of several dishes including chicken, fish and beef, sushi, rice and miso soup which is priced very reasonably at about $15.00-$20.00 NZ.

Phone: (03) 470 1155


82 St Andrew Street, Dunedin 9016

The Little India restaurant is tucked away down St Andrew St, just off George St. It has a good write up in the Lonely Planet NZ, and is good value. Service is prompt, the décor is bright, and the food is tasty and filling. Prices are very reasonable at about between $11.00 and $20.00 NZ.

Overall, this is a very nice Indian restaurant with some great curry dishes.

Phone: 03-474 1445

Directions: It is only a four minute walk from the Octagon.



The Thai-Hanoi Restaurant is in a fairly central location, being a few minutes from the Octagon. The décor is bright and funky and the service is prompt. I think the meals are good value here. It certainly seems to be popular choice out there, as it can fill up fast.

For the price there is no problem and if you're watching your budget there's enough on the menu to come back several times and try something new! The average price is between $11.00 and $20.00

Address: 24 Moray Place, Dunedin.

Phone: 03 471 9500

Directions: Just a stone's throw from the Octagon.


66 St Andrew Street


Cuisine: Vietnamese

Phone: 03-474 1445

This is a nice place for Vietnamese food and cooked typically the Saigon way, fresh and tasty! It is located about a five minute walk from the centre of town

7/THE FLYING SQUID - 118 Albany Street

Order the Blue Cod and Fattie Chips with lemon pepper. Delicious. Seriously, if you're not from New Zealand, they actually have this range of options at most Chip shops, but this one is a cut above! The food is fresh, the grease is clean and you're always waiting with a bunch of Uni students who like good FAST food when they see it!

Phone: 03-477 9800

Because restaurants can change in quality very quickly please check out the website

below which provides diners a chance to read the reviews of all these restaurants and more.

If something has changed for good or bad you'll find out here!

Eating food is not only important but fun! If you too have found any gems out there, we'd love to hear from you!

Please feel free to add any suggestions, info or comments in our guest book at the bottom of the page.


Dunedin and Cheese rolls

Dunedin and Cheese rolls

You'll find cheese rolls at most cafes in Dunedin

Simply a delight,

the science of making the perfect cheese roll can now be revealed!

Back in July 2010 the New Zealand International Science Festival held the ultimate 'southern cheese-roll' challenge.

The cheese roll competion drew about 80entries from around the South Island and a large crowd turned up at the Otago Daily Times festival headquarters in the Wall Street mall.

Finally, Joy Jones, of Dunedin, was declared the finest cheese-roll chef in the South.

"It's a very simple recipe I got from my mother [Noeleen Campbell, of Tuatapere]," was quoted as saying (source Otago Daily Times)

Incidentally, Mrs Jones now makes the rolls for Robbie's Bar and Grill in South Dunedin.

The cheese rolls were judged on taste, texture, appearance and "ooze factor".

The University of Otago food science department assessed their nutritional value.

According to the judges, the winning cheese rolls were a standout because they contained a substantial amount of filling - 45% cheese - and a traditional flavour of onion soup mix and evaporated milk,"

The filling was said to be flavoursome, thick, cohesive and smooth, and had a full-bodied texture that delivered a rich mouth-feel.

Also heating the ingredients in the microwave was key to achieving a homogeneous, easily-spreadable filling that did not separate or go greasy when heated in the cheese roll."

Below is the winning recipe

- 500g grated cheese (Mainland Mild Blend or Mild Cheddar)

- 1 tin Nestle Carnation evaporated milk

- 1 pkt Maggi onion soup mix

- 1 finely chopped onion

- 1 tsp mustard powder1 cup cream

- Heat in microwave for six minutes, stirring in between time.

- Cool, spread lengthways on to long-cut white bread from Marlow's Bakery, South Dunedin.

- Roll into cheese rolls using three folds.


Aside from this delicious recipe one could also visit the Little Hut Cafe in Dunedin, as they too also serve some of the best cheese rolls in the world.

The Little Hut is a Dunedin icon, and they have been in the same spot since the late 1940s. Give them a try, they're bang in the centre of town.

They are located at 252 George street, down in the basement.

Source Otago Daily Times

transend flash memory cards


What to see and do in Dunedin

In more detail

Visiting Dunedin.

What kinds of touristy things can one do in Dunedin then? I here you ask.


the iconic railway station.Definitely worth a photograph or two.

Plus it is also the departure point for two train trips that might be worth doing.

Run by the Taieri Gorge Railway, The Seasider train is Dunedin's scenic coastal train which runs along beautiful Otago harbour, the Pacific ocean and across spectacular cliff-top coastal scenery up to Palmerston. This is definitely an enjoyable trip and one of my favorites!

The other train journey is through the Taieri Gorge, where you get to head inland across a barren and rugged landscape and chug across wrought-iron viaducts. This is very much like New Zealand's outback.

Both are fun and pleasurable trips to do and I would definitely recommend either trip to anyone visiting Dunedin! It will at least give you a taste of what lies outside town.


it is perhaps of no great surprise that Dunedin is sometimes referred to as the wildlife capital of New Zealand with nature being on the doorstep. The Otago Peninsula which forms a beautiful part of our eastern harbour front is only a short drive away from the city, and once there you can see albatrosses, fur seals, sea lions, yellow-eyed penguins and a variety of bird life up close and personal - by up close I mean walking on the beach less than 10 feet away from a Hooker Seal Lion twice your size.


While on the peninsula one cannot forget Larnach castle, built in 1871 by William Larnach. With its exciting, sometime scandalous, sometimes tragic history, its magnificent carved ceilings, and New Zealand antiques, Larnach Castle is now New Zealand's only preserved castle. Taking 15 years to complete, it employed 46 servants in its heyday.

Situated high above the hills and overlooking Dunedin's magnificent harbour, the castle affords splendid, panoramic views of a steep and rugged landscape that eventually melts into the pacific ocean beyond.

Larnach castle is only a twenty minute drive back to Dunedin.

(4) In town again?

The Octagon is Dunedin's heart.The centre of the town. A place full of shops, cafes and bars, and also the beautiful St Pauls Cathedral. In the Octagon you can also find the famous statue of poet Robbie Burns. Plus the main cinema, the Regent Theatre, and Dunedin's art gallery.

.Approximately it is a five minute walk from the railway station to the Octagon.


Our next major sight worth seeing.Cadbury chocolate factory springs to mind. It is definitely a top sight to see (while staying in Dunedin), and a chance to sample some delicious chocolate bars, and glimpse into how chocolates are made.


A visit to the Otago Museum, one of the world's best museums is worth your time to explore. They also have a great cafe and gift shop.

Whether you have an hour to spend there or a day to enjoy, you will love it either way!

(7)There is also Olveston, Dunedin's finest old stately home with 35 rooms. Guided tours are available most days.

(8) Because Dunedin is such an incredibly hilly place, one could always walk up the steepest street in the world. That's Baldwin Street! At least you'll get the chance of obtaining a 'certificate' by making the ascent! But you'll have to come back down for that!

Dunedin is definitely worth exploring by foot, and there are so many charming, old character buildings and churches to discover along the way.

(9) Lots of great beaches to visit such as St Clair beach, or Tunnel beach.

(10) Signal Hill is a great place to get a panoramic view of the city and harbour below. Great for taking pictures, and there are walking tracks nearby. Signal Hill (390 m/1280 ft)

I think 'kiwis have a fantastic environment down here in the deep South and one that is uniquely spellbinding and friendly. I think also that Dunedin is one cool town and worthy of a visit! Hope to see you there sometime!

The view from Signal hill


Fun, free things to do in Dunedin in summer


Summer is usually a nice time to travel around the South Island, and in Dunedin the weather usually becomes more settled.

There are a lot of free activities and things to do in town when visiting.

They include the following

1/ The Santa Parade (1st week in December)

A sea lion is usually a farily common sight down this way (picture)and there is even one at the Santa parade!

The Santa parade heralds the beginning of Christmas, and starts in the first week of December.

It is a wonderful opportunity to see hundreds of colorful floats, costumes, bands, music and the arrival of Santa Claus as they all make their way along the main street of Dunedin.

2/ During the months of December, January and February a visit to the botanical gardens is a must. It is a huge area to explore and a great chance to see the gardens in full bloom,

3/ Free music at the Dunedin botanical gardens every weekend during December, January and February at the bandstand. Pick up a schedule from the information centre in the gardens, plus while you are there, ask for some free duck grain (all packed and sitting on the counter) and go and feed the ducks in the ponds. Great fun for kids and adults alike. The botanical gardens is in a glorious setting, and there is a lot of grounds to explore.

3/ The Otago museum, most of the museum is free to walk around (excluding current exhibitions of course)

4/ Fishing off the Dunedin wharf. Bring your rod, this is the time 'Salmon' are running up the harbour.(December to April)

5/ Check out St Clair beach-this is one of Dunedin's best beaches and great to walk along. The water is mighty cold though, but certainly refreshing!

6/ Otago farmers market is held at the railway station every Saturday. It can be just a marvellous way to wander and soak up the atmosphere.

St Clair Beach - A walk along the beach?

Very accessible from the city, the suburbs of St Clair and St Kilda are the two main beach suburbs of Dunedin.

Often uncrowded, this is a beautiful environment to explore.

Alternatively St Clair beach offers beach front accommodation too

For luxury accommodation try the

St Clair Beach resort

24 Esplanade St Clair, Dunedin 9012

(03) 456 0555

Tourism Dunedin - The lower South Island


Travel Tips

Pros and Cons

City centre-The heart of the city is in the city square which isn't square but octagonal. The Octagon links George St in the north and Princes St in the south. The octagonal road is named Moray Place.

Heritage buildings-Scottish Edwardian architecture was the hallmark of buildings constructed in the city's heyday, examples of which can be seen in St Paul's Cathedral, the restored Town Hall, Dunedin Railway Station, Larnach Castle 13 kilometres from the city centre, and Olveston house (built in 1904-1906).

Gardens-The Botanic Gardens, New Zealand's first, is located at the northern end of the city on the lower slopes of Signal Hill. The 30-acre harbourside Glenfalloch Woodland Garden is southeast of the city center and lies off Portobello Rd.

Harbour cruises- View albatross, fur seals, penguins, nesting birds, and dolphins on Otago Harbour wildlife cruises. There are fishing cruises as well. Or hire a kayak for a close-up look at marine and birdlife.

Birds- See the huge royal albatross at Taiaroa Heads at the tip of the Otago Peninsula. Also to be found on the peninsula is the yellow-eyed penguin, white-fronted tern, blue penguin and many species of cormorant.

Information centre- The Dunedin Visitor Centre is at 48 The Octagon in the restored municipal chambers. It is open from 8.30am to 5pm weekdays and from 9am to 5pm weekends, with extended hours in summer.

Pros: Glorious buildings, lots of good cafes, great food and fresh produce, and (compared to other cities in NZ) I think the best drinking water from the tap!

Easy to get around town, heaps to do and see.

A lot of beautiful scenery and wildlife to visit. Great, friendly southern people.

Cons: It can be very cold-four seasons in one day.

It is hard to hold or plan a BBQ night outside (unlike other northern cities) because Dunedin weather is quite cold and unreliable. If you do get a super hot sunny day it may be a case of giving thanks to the gods.

Lots of traffic lights if you're driving. They have parking wardens in this town. Yep! Be careful because they're on scooters too, and eager to chalk your tyre or fine you. If you have a campervan, try to park it in a supermarket car park instead, at least it is free and you will have some extra free time to plan your day without being hassled.

For a laid back city, Dunedin motorists still tend to be in a hurry when driving, and may appear as speed freaks to some. Not the best drivers in the world!

In A Nutshell: "A compact city, in an attractive location. Friendly people, wonderful heritage and a big city feel - despite its size."

Welcome to farmers market - Held every saturday morning at the railway station

A great place to buy fresh local products, and sit at one of the many cafes in the area.

First Church - There are a number of historical churches around the city

Understanding 'Kiwi' slang - What did you say mate?


Put on your jandals, togs and sunnies mate. We're heading for the wop-wops

It's a bit of a tiki tour but its worth it!


Didn't understand a word? Don't worry here's a guide to some common slang terms used in New Zealand.

Awesome :Fine, excellent

Bach :A holiday home (also known as a crib in the South Island)

Barbie :Barbecue (also written as BBQ) - food cooked outside over a charcoal or gas fire

Beaut, beauty :Something good or outstanding. Often used ironically to mean the opposite

Bro :Term of address for a male friend or relative

Bright as a button :Looking fresh, alert

Bright spark : Intelligent, alert, attentive, awake

Bring a plate :Everyone brings food to share. Don't bring an empty plate.

Bush :New Zealand's native forest

Bushed :had it Exhausted

BYO Bring Your Own :A BYO restaurant is a restaurant that allows customers to bring their own wine Crib A holiday home in the South Island

Chocka :Full

Choice : Fine, excellent

Clean as a whistle : Sparkling clean

Clown : Idiot

Crib: A holiday home in the South Island

Crook :To be ill or unwell. Also means a thief

Cuz :Term of address for friend or relative

Dag :An amusing person, a character

Dough :Money

Drive me around the bend :to be annoyed by someone so much

Drongo :A term of abuse, idiot

Dude :A cool or good looking male

Feed :A meal

Flat tack :At top speed

Foxy, fox :Used to describe a cool or good looking person of either sex

Fully :I agree

G'dday :Greeting meaning hello

Got the blues :Used to describe a sad state of mind

Greenie :A conservationist

Gumboots :Waterproof rubber boots (called Wellingtons in Britain)

Grog :Alcohol

Grouse :Fine, excellent, often used to express delight

Hard case :A tough but likeable person, an eccentric person

Hard graft Hard work

Head over heels :Usually describing somebody who is very very happy

Heart of gold Describing a person who is very kind

Hook up :Meet up or join in

Hoon :A noisy person, a lout

In a spin :Usually when too many things happen all at one time or too many choices

Jandals :Rubber sandals or thongs (called flip flops in Britain)

Joker: A man

Kiwi :New Zealand native bird symbol. New Zealander

Lolly :The usual word for a confection or sweet

Mate :A friend, also a term of address

Mission :An adventure

Mongrel :A term of abuse or contempt for a person

Munted :To be broken or distorted

Narley :Cool, good

Nifty :Good (applied to a thing)

No worries :Common phrase of agreement

On to it :Efficient or intelligent

On a high :A good feeling that can come from success

Once in a blue moon :Very rarely, seldom, almost never

Paddock :A field, also a sports pitch

Paint the town red :To go out and have a good time

Piker :Someone who opts out of an activity

Pop on over/ pop in :Come and visit me at my house

Potluck dinner :Everyone brings prepared food to share with all the guests

Pressie :A present (gift)

Pub : A bar where alcoholic drinks are served over the counter

Rapt: Very pleased

Rellie :A relation or relative

Rough ride : A difficult experience

She'll be right: Everything is going to be OK

Shocking :Very bad

Shout :To treat your friends to something such as a drink or a meal

Skite To boast : A boaster or showoff

Smoko :Coffee or tea break

Snowed under: Usually has too much work or responsibility

Spuds :Potatoes

Sticks :Remote or rural district, the countryside

Stinge/Stingy :Not generous with your money

Stoked :Very excited

Sweet as :Great

Switched on: very bright or intelligent

Swot Study hard, especially before an exam

Ta :Thanks

To take for a ride :To deceive or trick someone

Togs : Swimming costume


Turn to custard: Collapse of ideas, schemes, plans

Unc/Unco :An uncoordinated person, often used as an insult or taunt

Under the weather :Feeling off colour, unwell, tired

Uni : University

Varsity :University

Veggies :Vegetables

Wicked : Fine, excellent

Wop-wops : Remote or rural district, the countryside

How to get to Dunedin?

Filming the Hobbit movie in Dunedin's back door country

The world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey took place on 28 November 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand,

'There's hobbits in them hills'

Parts of 'The Hobbit' movie were filmed around the outskirts of Dunedin. A place called Middlemarch. It includes an area known as is the Strath Taeri, an area of rolling hills and rock formations, making it an unusual but very beautiful landscape. You might also want to consider going out on the Taieri Gorge railway, which departs daily from Dunedin.

Either way, visiting this area is easy from Dunedin, and is no more than a day trip. (at best 1-2 hours)

Hobbit country


Dunedin's backdoor country. Hobbit country.


Accommodation Options

A couple of good choices



The Comfort Inn Alcala, which is everything you wish accommodation to be. Stay in a clean, fully self-contained unit only 10 minutes walk from the hub of the city.

Your first choice for exceptional, affordable, accommodation offering you the option of 23 luxury units:


Fully self-contained units from $99

Enquire Now


Rooms are available at Central Dunedin Backpackers with the option of family private rooms, or shared dorms and facilities for backpackers.

Clean, cosy, and central

This could be a definite option.

Prices range from, $27 for a dorm to a private family room for $60.00

For further Info on prices please check out the following website

Rental cars in Dunedin

where to go, and price range

There are a large number of car rental companies in Dunedin.

Firstly let's take a look at the Airport

1/ DUNEDIN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT you can choose the following rental car companies at the airport.


Telephone: 0800 399 736


b/ a2b-car-rental

Telephone: 0800 545 000



Telephone: 03 486 2780

Facsimile: 03 489 1056



Telephone: 03 486 2660



Telephone: 0508 12 37483


f/ Europcar

Telephone: 03 486-2358

Facsimile: 03 471 8445



NZ Freephone: 0800 439 473

Telephone: 09 401 5073


h/ Hertz

Freephone: 0800 654 321

Airport: 03 486 2778

Dunedin Office: 03 477 7385


i/ Nationwiderentalcars

NZ Freephone: 0800 803 003

Telephone: 03 486 1245

Fax: 03 486 1246


J/ Thrifty

Freephone: 0800 73 70 70

Telephone: 03 486 2537

Fax: 03 487 2651


If you arrive into Dunedin International Airport,

to locate the rental car counters go out of the main entrance of the terminal and turn left. Offices are manned during flight arrivals and departures.

The rental car car-park is adjacent to the rental car office area and is well sign-posted.

Keys can be deposited in the drop-off boxes situated on the rental car counters if the offices are closed.

2/DUNEDIN CITY If you are in Dunedin city, and you are just after a basic car for the day.

Try Rentadent car company. They also offer some great one way deals with standard insurance. Prices vary from about $59.00

For further information please check out their website.

3/After a quick search i found prices largely depended on how many days you rent the car.

For example I found one car company offering $49.00 per day, and another for 100.00 per day.

To check out the latest prices on renting a car from the airport click on the link below, and it will compare the cheapest deals and prices available

The poll station


Been to Dunedin? What did you enjoy the most about your visit?

See results

What's on guide? - A guide to what's happening in Dunedin this week

Useful link for the latest information on Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand

The heart of the city

In the Octagon

Dunedin check List - Make sure these sights are on your radar the next time you visit town!

Your check list of major sights worth visiting when in Dunedin.

  1. Dunedin railway station and court precinct.
  2. Larnach castle
  3. Cadbury chocolate factory
  4. Albatross colony and penguins on the Otago pennisula
  5. Visit St Clair beach
  6. Visit Olveston stately home
  7. Tunnel beach
  8. Cargills Castle ruin
  9. Taieri Gorge or Seasider half day railway trips that depart Dunedin railway station
  10. Visit Otago Museum.
  11. Visit the art galleries of Dunedin.
  12. Wander the heart of town, visit the Octagon and St Pauls cathedral
  13. Botanical gardens. A wonderful landscaped area of bush and gardens all within city limits!
  14. The Chinese gardens
  15. Otago University and campus. New Zealand's first university
  16. Speights Brewery tour. Visit one of New Zealand's most famous and oldest breweries.

Cruise season-October to April - This cruise boat is just departing from Dunedin harbour


This is another great way to get to Dunedin!

Cruise season is from October to April and there are some great New Zealand cruises that stop in Dunedin/Port Chalmers and other beautiful locations around the country. Departing from Sydney, Australia check out the 'Sun Princess' cruise schedule on the following website for some great deals.

How to get to Dunedin? - Explore the possibilites of heading south


It is easy to fly on a domestic flight to Dunedin, but if you are arriving from overseas then you will more than likely be arriving into Auckland or Christchurch.

There are direct flights from Los Angeles to Auckland or Christchurch as well as several other routes from Australia, South-East Asia and the Pacific.

From Christchurch to Dunedin it is about 362 kilometres south on state highway 1.

Options for traveling.

1/It is easy to rent a car, or campervan down here, and some of the leading car companies include Budget and Avis.

2/There are no trains between these two cities any more which is sad! So traveling by train is NOT an option.

3/ There are connecting flights between either Auckland or Christchurch and through to Dunedin. You can get flights for around $99.00 NZ and even less. Check out the website

The cable car will be coming back to Dunedin - Old cinematography of Dunedin Cable Cars 1930 to 1950

This is of the cable car in Dunedin and how it used to be.

Today though,it is becoming more of a certainty that the cable car will indeed return to Dunedin as plans are now being 'discussed' on preparing the foundations once again, inparticular the High Street Mornington section.

Acknowledgements to Otago Cine Video Club for the use of this video

Thank you for visiting our lens on Dunedin, New Zealand. - So where are you from? We'd love to know!

Where are you from?

See results

Drop us a line. We'd love to hear from you!

Louie-Thomas Guestbook - Your comments

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    • Louie-Thomas LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Louie-Thomas LM 

      6 years ago

      @GuyNadeau LM: Hi Guy,

      Thankyou for your comments earlier. I think the earthquake in Chch put a lot of people off coming to the South Island of NZ. Understandably. Although Dunedin is quite a long way from Chch, some tourists thought that the whole of the south island had been affected by the quake. I think people are now starting to return more in larger numbers...

      Hope you get to visit some time in the future.

    • GuyNadeau LM profile image

      GuyNadeau LM 

      6 years ago

      Hello Louie-Thomas. I didn't know at all about Dunedin (looks like a nice place). But I first heard about New Zeland because of a place called Christchurch and I know that they suffered an earth quake a few years ago. I would like to visit one day. Looks like a beautiful country.

      By the way, I thought your pic of Kiwis crossing was kinda funny. It's not something we see here in my country. We see more signs like Moose or Dear crossing...even Cow some I thought it was very original.

    • takkhisa profile image


      6 years ago

      What a great lens! I would like to visit Dunedin someday. Photos are so beautiful :)

    • Louie-Thomas LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Louie-Thomas LM 

      6 years ago

      @minemyown: Dunedin's a great place, hope you get to visit it at some point.

      Lord's of the Ring's is such a classic too, by the way there is a really cool radio adaption (26 episodes) made by the BBC worth checking out.

    • minemyown profile image


      6 years ago

      @TeacherSerenia: lucky!

    • minemyown profile image


      6 years ago

      I know Lord of the Rings was made in New Zealand. Tolkien referred the character Aragorn as a Dunedain, never knew that the place really existed. I enjoy travelling and New Zealand is in one of my top destination. Thank you for such an informative and awesome lens. : )

    • Louie-Thomas LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Louie-Thomas LM 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for posting your comments.I think Dunedin is a great place too.

      Baldwin streets fun!

    • danielmccarthy lm profile image

      danielmccarthy lm 

      7 years ago

      So awesome to see a huge NZ lens like this. I love Dunedin, such an amazing place. I now live only 1 hour away so look forward to visiting Dunedin more often, we walked up Baldwin St last time we came.

    • Louie-Thomas LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Louie-Thomas LM 

      7 years ago

      @TeacherSerenia: Wow! Thank you Serenia. 20 years is a long time to be away. I guess you would notice afew changes now if you were to come back for a visit. I'm glad you liked the lens.

    • TeacherSerenia profile image


      7 years ago

      I used to LIVE in Dunedin. I went to school there. My parents still live there. It's been more than 20 years since I left. Thank you for the lovely pictures - they were very nice to see,


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