10 Things To Do In Dunedin

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

Read about '10 Things To Do In Dunedin' on USAVE, the place for all things car rental.

Tucked away at the head of the Otago Harbour, Dunedin is surrounded by stunning scenery with the Otago Peninsula taking up position on the south side and the slopes of Mount Allan and the Taieri Gorge on the other. Dunedin’s unique landscape and location makes it a superb choice for a family holiday or weekend away.

Wondering what to do while in Dunedin? Check out our list of the best 10 things to do in Dunedin and make the most of your time in this unique and interesting South Island destination.

1. Dunedin Railway Station

Superb architecture, beautiful stained glass windows and amazing mosaic floor tiles make this gorgeous heritage building a must-see for all visitors to Dunedin. While you are there check out the famous Taieri Gorge Railway  scenic train ride to see some of the best of the spectacular Otago country side.

The rail trip is an excellent attraction, all year round, rain or shine, allow 4.5 hours for the trip, refreshments are available on board. The Taieri Gorge Railway is priced from $115 per person.

2. Larnach Castle

New Zealand’s only castle, this magnificent historic landmark features impressive architecture and offers spectacular panoramic views of Dunedin’s Harbour, Port Chalmers and beyond. Learn about the colourful history of the castle’s first resident, William Larnach, and explore the beautiful gardens, or have High Tea, or lunch in the on-site Ballroom Cafe.

With its beautiful formal gardens and awe-inspiring panoramic views of Dunedin, Larnach Castle and Gardens is well worth a visit – entry prices range from $34 per person for full access to $17 per person for just grounds and gardens access.

3. Dunedin Public Art Gallery

This award-winning gallery showcases the best local, New Zealand and international art, including works from Europe, Japan and Australia. The 125 year old public art gallery is home to an excellent collection of paintings, textiles, ceramics and glass, and offers a wide range of events and a successful education programme.

Entry to the gallery is free and it is open 10 am to 5 pm daily. Check the website for information on the current events schedule.

4. Horse Riding At The Beach With Hare Hill Horse Treks

Just 20 minutes’ drive from Dunedin city centre is a beautiful 60 acre farm located in Deborah Bay. Hare Hill Horse Treks offers horse riding anytime of the year for beginners and advanced riders. Enjoy a breath taking beach ride or take a leisurely ride through farmland for spectacular harbour views.

Rides are priced from $110 per person for the farmland trek, and up to $220 for the beach ride. Always book ahead as numbers are limited.

5. Otago Museum

Discover the history of New Zealand’s southern region and beyond with a superb range of collections at the Otago Museum. With a collection of over 1.5 million items, culture, nature and science come together to showcase our history and evolution  as a country and as a people.

Entry to the museum is free; however some special exhibitions may require a small fee to enter. The museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm daily; there is also a café and gift shop on site.

6. Olveston Historic Home

Just 1km from the city centre you’ll find this stunning historic house which captures a slice of real history depicting how a wealthy Dunedin family lived in the 1900s. Explore the beautiful rooms, full of elaborate furnishings and architectural details on a guided tour.

Olveston is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, general admission costs $23 per person and this includes the guided tour. Tours commence at set times throughout the day these are currently 9.30 am, 10.45 am, 12 noon, 1.30pm, 2.45pm and 4 pm. Always book ahead as tour numbers are limited to 15 people.

7. Otago Peninsula

The stunning Otago Peninsula is home to an abundance of spectacular wildlife, including cormorants, fur seals, the epic Royal Albatross and the rare Yellow Eyed Penguin. There are also a number refreshing walks providing breath taking ocean and clifftop views, including the Sandymount Track, which offers access to magnificent cliff faces ‘The Chasm’ and ‘Lovers Leap’.

While visiting Otago Peninsula head to Penguin Place for a guided tour though the Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve. Explore the world of these unique and endangered penguins and witness the conservation project in action.

8. The Royal Albatross Centre

Another wildlife experience not to be missed out on the Otago Peninsula is the Royal Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head at the tip of the peninsula. Home of the world’s only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross, the best time to visit is from December to February when these spectacular marine birds are in residence.

Tours are priced at $62 for a combined tour of the Albatross colony and Fort Taiaroa, or $52 for just the Albatross colony viewing. Tours are limited to between 18 and 21 people so it is advisable to book ahead.

9. St Clair Beach

A 10 minute drive from the central city, St Clair Beach is one of the most popular of Dunedin’s beaches, featuring stunning white sand beach and even a salt water pool. Learn to surf, grab a coffee or take a lap of the pool (don’t worry its heated!) and enjoy a day at the St Clair Beach.

The outdoor saltwater pool is located at the southern end of the beach and is perfect for those who prefer the safety of a pool but still love to swim in salt water.  Please note; the pool is only open from October through to March and entry costs $6.70 per adult and $3 per child.

10. Port Chalmers

If exploring art galleries, boutiques, antique shops, and heritage features sounds like you then Port Chalmers will easily keep you occupied for the day. There are also plenty of lovely little cafes and eateries to enjoy as well as live entertainment and markets if you time it right. 

Check out the Community Market held on the third Sunday of each month or head a bit further afield and visit the Orokonui Ecosanctuary for a tranquil afternoon of wilderness and wildlife – a great one for the kids.

Explore Dunedin and the Otago region at your own pace with affordable car hire from USAVE Car Rentals. Our Dunedin car rentals depot is conveniently located close to the city centre, providing easy access and drop off for your vehicle. Check out our great range of affordable rentals cars available today.

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