15 Things to do in Dunedin: From visiting famous museums, stunning parks, magnificent beaches, and drinking beers from a brewery, Dunedin seems to have a lot of activities for everyone. Here are 15 Things to do in Dunedin!
1. Admire the Larnach Castle
The first thing to do if you are visiting Dunedin in New Zealand is to visit Larnach Castle and Garden. The castle offers a picturesque view of an ancient castle with a well-maintained garden surrounding it. However, there is a dark history behind the construction of the castle. Mr. Larnach built the mansion for his wife who passed away at a young age. Mr. Larnach then committed suicide and the Baker family bought the castle. With its sophisticated architecture, there are many details and corners you can observe. There are also guided tours available if you are interested. Lastly, you can stay overnight in one of the rooms and attending a castle dining experience!
2. Drink Tea in Lan Yuan
After visiting a sophisticated castle, head to the Lan Yuan Chinese garden in Cumberland streets. The garden serves to commemorate the Chinese contribution to the city’s heritage. It becomes a place where the Chinese population gathers and strengthens their identity. Lan Yuan is a perfect destination to stroll around in serene and tranquil surroundings. The garden also changes seasonally which is why you will never be bored of the place! Don’t forget to try the tea drinking experience when you come to visit. Lastly, the garden is open from 10 AM to 5 PM daily.
3. Shopping at Otago Farmers Market
Satisfied with a relaxing stroll around the Chinese garden, it is time to do a little shopping in Otago Farmers Market. Located in Anzac Avenue, the farmer market always offers something for everyone. Ranged from various flowers, fresh vegetables, local fruits, herbs, cheese, pastries, and pies, you can get anything here. No wonder this place is always vibrant and crowded with people. There are also many handmade delicacies from around the world you can try, such as ‘La Crepe’ made by its friendly French maker. Or you can try Marie’s stall which serves vegan tempeh and Abdal’s stall which offers homemade flatbread. Sounds exciting? The market opens every Saturday from 8 Am to 12.30 PM!
4. Watch Sunset in Tunnel Beach
Shopping through a local market can be exhausting, but you just can’t miss visiting one of the most romantic spots in the city! Tunnel beach offers massive boulders view with huge ocean waves, creating stunning views. It is dangerous to swim here, as the current can be very strong. To start, follow a fenced track until you meet the rocky coastline. Lastly, don’t miss the magnificent sunset either from the beach or from the top!
5. Stroll in Dunedin Botanic Garden
It is time to continue the day and to explore Dunedin Botanic Garden. The garden is divided between two, the Lower and the Upper garden. The lower garden offers a Winter garden, Edwardian glasshouse, Rose Garden, a duck pond, a Children’s playground, and a Japanese garden. The lower garden may be perfect for a family day out! Meanwhile, the upper garden offers geographic plant collection, aviary, and native plant collections. Moreover, there are many trails you can hike in the morning such as the trail of the silent space.
6. Wine Tasting in Speight’s Brewery
After spending a hot day out strolling the Garde, it is a perfect time to get a glass of cold beer. You can head to Speight’s where they sell one of the best beers in New Zealand, Medal Ale. Many regular customers had admitted that they have had a really nice beer tasting. One of the most special experiences you get from this place is to taste various beers directly from the brewery. There are some tour guides who can tell a little bit of the history behind the Place. Lastly, the place opens from 10 AM to 7 PM daily.
7. Bird Watching in Orokonui Ecosanctuary
Continuing the journey, we are going to visit Orokonui Ecosanctuary where you can meet the world’s rarest forest birds and reptiles. The sanctuary becomes a home for many native species, such as Kiwi, Seabirds, South Island Saddleback, kaka, Tuatara, and even jeweled Gecko. You can walk freely to enjoy the enchanting forest or ask for a guided tour from friendly experts. Moreover, you can also visit their cafes which using only native produce from Orokonui Valley. Lastly, the sanctuary opens from 9.30 AM to 4.30 PM from Thursday to Munday.
8. Surfing at Saint Clair Beach
Next up is to do some physical activity on this sweeping white-sand beach. Located just minutes away from the city, surfing is a must-do! St. Clair Beach has one of the most consistent surf breaks in the country. The waves then become a fun playground for international surfers! There are many surfing lessons and board rentals available here, so do not worry if you come unprepared. If you are hesitant about surfing, you can just try some eateries around the summer months.
9. Play and Have fun in Grand Casino
After a long day of exploring the city, it is time to get some high-class entertainment! The Grand Casino in Dunedin offers world-class gaming tables and a fantastic dining experience. A little bit different from other Casino centers, the interior design has a victorian style combined with classical architecture. So you are not only playing but enjoying the scenic and sophisticated surroundings. To get more information, click here!
10. Learn in Otago Museum
A night full of casinos is so much fun! but we have to continue exploring another part of the city. It is time to learn more about natural sciences and the city’s history. Otago Museum is one of the largest museums in the country. It owns long-term gallery displays, an interactive science center, and even tropical butterfly rainforest. Other than that, it also has a special exhibition area for temporary displays. Sometimes, the museum will exchange exhibitions with other countries. For example, the Shanghai Museum host The Emperor’s Dragons exhibition in this museum. In return, the Otago museum host Te Ao Maori exhibitions at Shanghai Museum in 2008.
11. Nostalgic in Dunedin Railway Station
After visiting the city’s famous museum, you also have to check out the city’s ancient railway station. The station was built in the 19th century and was the busiest in the country. The sophisticated architecture of the station was inspired y the Gingerbread George. This station is so magnificent that Eyewitness included this station in the list of 200 Wonders of the World. It was also one of the luxuries building in its era!
12. Pray in St. Paul’s Cathedral
Next up is to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral which is located in the heart of Octagon. The construction of the church began in 1862, making it one of the oldest churches in the Country. The church has stunning architecture with Victorian architecture you can see from far. Moreover, there is always a Sunday and weekday worship at 8 am and 10 AM. You can also join their lunchtime Eucharist services and Te Hakari Tapu. Children are also welcomed to join many special activities.
13. Find Seals and Penguins in Boulder Beach
Visiting historical sites may be a little bit boring and exhausting, but there is another beach where you can ease your mind away. Boulder Beach has many easy walking trails with scenic ocean views surrounded by green hills. This rocky beach is also a home for many animals such as seals and some penguins if you are lucky. The penguins you can meet here si the Yellow-Eyed Penguins, however, they’re very shy and prone to human disturbance. Please do not look for them in purpose because you can disturb their breeding habits. At least stay low and concealed. To reach the beach, you can start from Braidwood Road. Then follow the track down through farm paddocks.
14. Pet Blue Penguins
If you can’t pet the penguins you meet at the beach before, you can put them here in this place. The Blue Penguins Pukekura offers an experience where you can meet with the world’s smallest penguin, Korora. It is a protected native species and you can pet them here. To see and pet the penguins in their natural habitat, you have to join the daily tours available. The viewing tours are available every evening using a modern viewing platform and interactive walkway. There are also guided tours available where you can ask questions regarding the penguin. Lastly, the ticket ranged from $10 for children and $35 for an adult.
15. Join Tours in Olveston Historic Home
To finish up the tour, the last unique place to visit in Dunedin is the Olveston Historic Home. It was first opened in 1967 as a time capsule. Here, you can see an authentic home depicting the life of a wealthy merchant family in the early 20th century. The house was designed by an English architect as a family home furnished with fine art, furniture, and artifacts purchased from around the world. To hear more interesting stories regarding the life of the family, you can join guided tours in many languages available.