DUNEDIN + COASTAL OTAGO
🚗 self-drive itinerary
🛏️ minimum 2 night stay recommended
🍽️ dining suggestions offered
📅 visit any time of year
There's something special about Dunedin. A New Zealand city full of authentic welcoming characters that tell it like it is. With abundant wildlife on its door step, your visit can also take in heritage buildings, great cafés and nightlife.
Highlights can include:
- Olveston, an historic home is a time capsule, a family home lavishly furnished and preserved with all the original contents for over 50 years 🗝️
- experience one of the world's top 10 bike rides around Otago Peninsula by mountainbike or even by electric bike 🚴
- learn about the unique brewing process and how Speight's became a legend in the South as you tour the Speight's Brewery 🍺
- celebrate Otago's Chinese heritage at Dunedin Chinese Garden, a garden of national significance
- visit New Zealand's only castle, Larnach Castle where you can explore inside the historic house, enjoy the beautiful gardens and get amazing views from the tower 🏰
- tackle the world's (second!) steepest residential street in the world on foot - once you've reached the top of Baldwin Street you'll forever have bragging rights! 🚶♂️
- get closer to unique southern ocean animals with Monarch Wildlife Cruises where you'll see what can't be seen from land 🛥️
- soak up the atmosphere of The Octagon, an eight-sided plaza that marks the centre of the city and has a variety of great eateries and entertainment to enjoy
- hike through native bush on Grahams Bush Track and be rewarded with amazing views, then continue on to see spectacular rock columns along the Organ Pipes Track
- embark on a scenic drive north and detour via the Coastal Road Scenic Route where your views will constantly change until you arrive in popular holiday spot Karitane Beach
- do your part for conservation by joining a tour of Penguin Place, a reserve dedicated to helping the endangered hoiho Yellow-Eyed Penguin survive 🐧
- complete a mini roadtrip circuit of Otago Peninsula to get a feel for Dunedin's back yard and find picture perfect Allans Beach 🏄♂️
- encounter penguins, sea lions, seals and albatross on an exclusive Wildlife Tour 📷
- get a selfie with Dunedin Railway Station, New Zealand's most photographed building, that earned its architect the nickname of "Gingerbread George" 🤳📷
- wander between North Dunedin's major attractions - the Botanic Gardens, the Otago Museum and tour the grounds of Otago University, New Zealand's First University 🎓
- visit beautiful white sand Aramoana Beach which is impressive when the seas are big and a great spot to watch the albatross soaring on the other side of the harbour 🌊
- Discover some of the world's most fascinating and rare wildlife with a knowledgeable guide at Orokonui EcoSanctuary
- see the world's only mainland Royal Albatross breeding colony - you'll be in awe of their wingspan, and their fluffy chicks are easily viewable from February each year, until they fledge in October (watch the Royal Cam live stream on YouTube)
- the short walk to Tunnel Beach takes you through an excavated tunnel to a secluded beach and a spectacular, rocky coastline 🌊
- learn about the people whose character, culture, technology, art, fashion, and transport shaped New Zealand's First Great City at Toitū Otago Settlers Museum 🖼️
- food-lovers will want to time it right and include Saturday morning in their trip so they can enjoy the atmosphere and local produce on offer at the Otago Farmers Market 👩🌾👨🌾☕
- tour Cadbury World a chocolate lovers' dream and firm family favourite 🍫 (closing in 2018)
AT A GLANCE
📍 # of Visitors4.0
🌦️ Chance of Rain3.5
👨👩👦👦 Family Fun5.0
🍽️ Food + Wine 6.0
🏳️🌈 LGBTQI+ friendly 👍
Note: the highest possible score is an 8.0
🎥video courtesy of Dunedin NZ on Facebook
DUNEDIN + COASTAL OTAGO
Sit back and relax. We've planned it all for you.
Day 1 : Arrive in Dunedin
You'll travel to Dunedin, arriving either by car, coach, historic train, or by flying into Dunedin's Airport. Upon arrival into the Dunedin you'll check in to your accommodation, settle in and get acquainted with your surroundings for the next 2 nights.
That afternoon get a feel for New Zealand's First City by walking through the city streets. We can suggest a trail for you that will take in the atmosphere of The Octagon, the much loved Dunedin Railway Station, the Toitū Settlers Museum and the Otago University and Otago Museum, with plenty of shops and eateries in between that will distract you along the way. Then jump in the car and drive a short distance to Signal Hill Lookout for a view over the city and the harbour, before driving back down to the base of the world's steepest street - Baldwin Street. We don't recommend driving up it, but if you do want to get to the top, it will take you around 10-minutes walk at a solid pace to get straight up
After dark, we'll offer suggestions on where you could dine, and let you know of any events that may be in town during your visit. If you enjoy a good beer, you might want to combine a Brewery Tour with a delicious dinner menu, that caters to kids, vegetarians and gluten-free options too.
Day 2 : Explore Dunedin's big back yard
Dunedin has plenty to keep you busy, and it's all within easy reach of the city.
If you're interested in more of the city's heritage and history, you'll want to visit Olveston where you'll step back in time the moment you step through the door. Combine this with a short drive and a visit to Larnach Castle and its gardens you've got the recipe for a very cultured day.
If you're a fan of wildlife encounters then we'll work our magic and combine a wildlife cruise with a chance to see penguins up close, the Royal Albatross colony and seals and sea lions too.
If you're keen for a slower, more relaxing day, perhaps don't plan on doing too much, but do make a point of driving the short distance out to Tunnel Beach for the short walk down through the tunnel to the secluded beach. Take a picnic with you (I can recommend some great bakeries) and make any one else that arrives while you're there envious!
Whatever you've ended up doing with your day though, as always we'll arrange dinner tonight for you to celebrate delicious New Zealand food and your last night in this region at one of our favourite restaurants in the area.
Day 3 : Depart Dunedin
This morning, if you're travelling north, make sure you take the detour along the Coastal Road Scenic Route through Karitane Beach just to get that eye candy fix before leaving the area. We'll let you know the best way to get from this region to the next part of your New Zealand trip, wherever you want that to be.