With an authentic old-world charm and some of the most beautiful architecture in New Zealand, Dunedin on the South Island’s south-east coast is the crowning gem of the Otago region. With its combination of some of the best Edwardian and Victorian construction and the spectacular coastal location, Dunedin offers the perfect balance of man-made and natural.
Hare Hill Horse Treks
Hare Hill is located approximately 20 minutes’ drive from the Dunedin CBD. This expansive farm is spread over 60 acres and offers spectacular views of the northern side of Otago Harbour. Both beginners and advanced horse riders are welcome to join in on one of the most eco-friendly ways to experience the greater Dunedin region.
At 393 metres high overlooking the head of Otago Harbour, Signal Hill offers the best bird’s eye views of Dunedin and surrounds and is excellent way of getting a sense of the city’s layout. The top of Signal Hill is easily accessible by road and a short 15 minutes’ drive will bring you to the main lookout area.
Nature’s Wonders Naturally
Neither a zoo nor wildlife park, the Nature’s Wonders Naturally tour is simply a chance to witness nature in its most organic conditions without disrupting this fragile ecosystem which blends marine, air, and land-based animals. Expect rare Yellow Eyed and Blue penguins, as well as wild seals and their pups.
The Dunedin Casino building, which was erected in 1883, will evoke memories of classic New Zealand architecture and the casino itself has been offering world-class entertainment since it opened in 1999. With 12 gaming tables and 180 gaming machines, there is something for everyone. However, if you’re not up for the hustle and bustle, you can always retire to your hotel room and enjoy online pokies NZ instead.
Speight’s is synonymous with beer in the region and the brewery has been producing beer since 1876. The brewery tours are highly recommended as they offer a history of the brewery as well the transition to modern brewing techniques.
Taieri Gorge Railway
The Taieri Gorge Railway travels directly into the Central Otago Hinterland and this world-class scenic railway trip is one of the easiest yet most enjoyable ways to experience all the sights and sounds that the coastal Otago region has to offer.
Larnach is New Zealand’s only true castle and boasts a spectacular setting with incredible craftsmanship. While the castle itself offers impressive high-quality carvings, the gardens which surround the building truly complete the experience and provide a wonderful Alice in Wonderland-esque feeling.
With an emphasis on natural history, the Otago Museum – located in the middle of Dunedin – is a favoured spot for both adults and children alike as the tour operators go out of the way to keep little ones entertained. By walking the delicate line between history, ecology, and the sciences, the Otago Museum is a must.
Dunedin Railway Station
No expense was spared in the building of the Dunedin Railway Station during New Zealand’s boom period and followed the Edwardian Baroque fashion which was incredibly popular in Europe at the time. With its decorative mosaic floors and intricate construction, it truly is a sight to behold.
Olveston Historic Home
If you’re looking to experience a veritable walk-in time capsule, then the Olveston Historic Home is not to be missed. The house and the lawns have changed little since 1906 and the 35 rooms showcase spectacular artwork and provide a look at how the “other-half” lived.