Dunedin, with its gorgeous heritage buildings and abundance of South Seas wildlife, oozes romance. Couples can explore romantic attractions like “Lovers Leap” while also learning more about Dunedin’s past at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum.
Get an overall view of this remarkable region aboard The Inlander train, which passes through picturesque river gorges, past historical village relics, and across spectacular bridges.
The Octagon stands out among Dunedin’s distinctive buildings for its geometric clarity and simplicity, earning international renown during the 19th century.
Otago University, one of New Zealand’s oldest institutions of higher learning, has long been an integral part of Dunedin community life. Over its 100-year existence, students from Otago have contributed greatly to Dunedin’s cultural, sporting, and social fabric.
At the Octagon, confidence tricksters plied their trade, impersonating wealthy men for financial gain. It became an extremely popular pastime and helped foster an environment of distrust that still pervades today.
Cereal giant W.K Kellogg made Dunedin his winter residence and purchased an impressive mansion on its northern edge, which during WWII became a Marine barracks. Today it plays host to Highland Games and Art Harvest events as well as many beaches like Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island that draw thousands annually for beach walks and other recreation. Dunedin is also well known for its world-class medical institutions and educational institutes as well as beautiful parks and gardens that adorn its streets.
The Warehouse Precinct
Just south of the Octagon lies a cluster of streets known as the Warehouse Precinct that once served as Dunedin’s commercial centre. Unfortunately, with economic shifts comes decline and its grand old buildings begin to decay over time.
But vision, creativity, and private investment have come together to revive this area, returning it to a vibrant business district. On a cool, crisp Saturday morning the area bustled with pedestrians strolling between cafes and shops; VSK featured street art with sci-fi/steampunk themes while Donald Reid and Co (1878) offered wool classing services along with stock and station agency services in an 18th century building nearby.
Bayleys Dunedin Property Salesperson Robin Hyndman attributes Dunedin’s revival to increasing the value of heritage buildings. Additionally, enthusiastic property owners have upgraded their buildings to meet modern safety standards while preserving original features from heritage buildings, says Robin.
Olveston Historic Home
Olveston Historic Home is an authentic and original historic house that depicts the lifestyle of a prosperous merchant family in early twentieth-century Dunedin. Filled with fine art and exotic furnishings, this gift from Miss Dorothy Theomin after her death in 1966 serves as an exciting museum exhibit.
The 35 room mansion serves as a time capsule of Dunedin life 100 years ago, complete with theatrical Jacobean-style interior decorations and displays of artifacts from all around the world. Over 250 artworks and 3000+ books and manuscripts help tell this tale of emigrant Jewish merchant family life at the turn of the 20th Century in Dunedin.
House is open and available for tours; guided tours cost $20 (NZ Seniors, YHA members and Backpackers pay $16) with children under 5 admitted free of charge. A special high tea and croquet lesson are also offered at an additional fee.
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
The Toitu Otago Settlers Museum is an incredible project that has brought new generations of locals into an otherwise overlooked museum. Since opening its doors in 2004, Toitu has become an essential part of community life; parents and grandparents regularly bring their kids as part of family experiences at Toitu.
The initial exhibits focus on Otago and Dunedin’s Maori history through an impressive array of artifacts. These incredible items illustrate a community formed long before Captain Cargill and Reverend Burnside arrived – showing how Maori, whalers, Presbyterian Scots gave Dunedin its unique identity.
The rest of the museum specializes in 19th and 20th century social history with an emphasis on transport. There is a hall full of historic vehicles from drays to trolley buses that date back more than 100 years; portraits of early European settlers; as well as an exhibit that recreates what it would have been like traveling steerage on ships.
Blue Penguins Pukekura
Take part in an unforgettable Korora little blue penguin tour at Takiharuru-Pilots Beach on Otago Peninsula to witness one of nature’s cutest creatures! Hosted by expert wildlife guides, the tour begins by walking through their reserve before watching as these adorable little birds emerge from their burrows at dusk! In between visits you’ll also gain an understanding of its rich cultural history as well as discovering all that nature reserves offer visitors – like abundant flora and fauna!
New Zealand and southern Australia are home to fairy penguins, the world’s smallest penguin species. You can often spot them at various zoos across both regions.
Discover Dunedin’s fascinating heritage on this tour, which visits Larnach Castle as well as Otago Peninsula Wildlife Sanctuary to witness rare birds like albatross! You won’t get another opportunity like this in life – book with KKday today to get the best deal for a Dunedin tour!