Things to do in Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula
Toitu – Otago Settlers Museum
The Toitū Otago Settlers Museum provides the history of our local area from the days of early settlement. Entry - free
Otago Museum displays nature, culture and science from Otago, New Zealand and the world and includes treasures of early Māori in Tāngata Whenua. (Entry free) There is also an interactive science area and a three-tier tropical butterfly enclosure and a planetarium. (Charges apply)
The Dunedin Public Art Gallery holds the main public art collection of the city and is located in the Octagon – the centre of the city.
You can’t visit Dunedin without tackling the world’s steepest street! The gradient is 1:2.86 – that means for every 2.86 metres travelled horizontally you climb (or descend) by 1 metre. There is a shop with memorabilia and information at the bottom and a bench and drinking fountain at the top!
Opened in 1906, the ornate Flemish Renaissance-style architecture features white Oamaru limestone facings on black basalt rock. The sheer size, grandiose style and rich embellishments of the station earned architect George Troup the nickname of Gingerbread George.
Speight's Brewery has been on the same site since1876 and has become one of Dunedin and Otago’s biggest icons. Famous for its promotional branding based on being 'a real southern man' and 'the pride of the south'. Speight’s offer a 90 min interactive and informative brewery tour which includes sampling of six Speight’s beers. Speight’s have also become well known for their restaurants.
Built to celebrate the city's Chinese heritage and its valuable sister city relationship with Shanghai. It has a tranquillity to enjoy and is the only truly authentic Chinese Scholar's Garden in the Southern Hemisphere.
Established in 1863, these are New Zealand’s oldest botanic gardens and are within walking distance of the city centre There are extensive grounds to explore, with aviaries on the upper level.
Olveston (Historic House)
Olveston is an authentic and original historic home built for a Dunedin businessman, David Theomin and his family. It was built as a family home furnished with fine art, furniture and artefacts. The house depicts the life of a wealthy merchant family in the early part of the twentieth century. The house and contents were left to the City of Dunedin in 1966 and opened as a historic house museum in 1967. The house remains as it was occupied between 1906 to 1966. Entry is by guided tour only.
Moana Pool is the largest swimming pool in the southern half of New Zealand's South Island. This covered complex has a range of swimming areas, a multitude of fitness facilities, lots of training courses and heaps of entertainment for children.
St Clair Beach & Hot Salt Water Pool
St Clair is a great surfing beach. At one end of St Clair are the newly renovated hot salt water pools (open October to March). The area is also well known for its cafes and restaurants.
A unique, world-class street art trail in the Warehouse Precinct is developing. Street Art fans and those keen on promoting and preserving our heritage buildings and areas such as the Warehouse Precinct shouldn’t miss this development! http://dunedinstreetart.co.nz/
Orokonui Eco Sanctuary
Orokonui Ecosanctuary is the flagship biodiversity project for the South Island and offers guided and self-guided walking tours. A predator fence surrounds 307 hectares of Coastal Otago forest, pests have been removed, habitat enhanced with weed control and planting, and many rare and endangered species re-introduced.
Spend a day browsing the city’s op shops for a second-hand bargain. You never know what treasures you could find!
Pineapple – Flagstaff Track
This walk offers panoramic views over Dunedin and the Otago Harbour. The walkway links with a number of other walking tracks in the area. Walking time: 2 hours one way (5 km)
Otago Peninsular offers many different walks with spectacular scenery, and wildlife. Access to the start of walks is best by car as there is limited public transport in the area. http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/facilities/walking-tracks/peninsula-tracks
This short walk goes through an excavated tunnel to a secluded beach and a spectacular, rocky coastline. There are spectacular sea-carved sandstone cliffs, rock arches and caves. Take the Corstorphine Bus to the end of the line and walk from there.
Woodhaugh Gardens is a great spot for relaxing. The gardens are north of the city, near the end of George Street. Toilets, toddler pool, BBQ and playground on-site. There are several tracks through the gardens, the main track encircles the park and takes around an hour to walk around.
A popular easy bush walk is through Ross Creek. This walk follows the Woodhaugh Gardens Trail, and it is relatively sheltered, allowing walkers to enjoy the beauty that nature has to offer. This walk officially begins on George Street, but can also be accessed from other areas in Dunedin including Tanner Street, Cannington Road, Malvern Street, and Rockside Road.
Bethunes Gully and Mount Cargill
The views from Mount Cargill (676m) are definitely worth the steep climb. The track starts at the Bethunes Gully carpark and playground. Follow an easy walk alongside Lindsay Creek, cross the bridge and start climbing! There are steep steps near the summit so a degree of fitness is required.
St Clair & St Kilda Beaches
Walk along the beach from St Clair and past the salt water pool to follow a cliffside track. You can take a 20 minute stroll around the cliffs to Second beach and follow the same path back again.
You may like to follow the beach side track in the sand dunes, towards St Kilda’s beach and Marlow Park. Seals can sometimes be spotted basking on the sand. They can get agitated and should not be approached.