My Dunedin Itinerary

Heritage

Dunedin lives with and values its heritage. We have fine examples of working heritage like Speight's Brewery, the Gasworks Museum and the Taieri Gorge Railway.

Bank of New Zealand

The Old Bank of New Zealand building was completed in 1882 and designed with a Venetian Renaissance style by architect W. B. Armson. The exterior features carving of New Zealand plants and landscapes whilst the interior was modernised in 1958 by Mandeno and Fraser. The building can be viewed in Princes St.

Consultancy House

The New Zealand Express Company was completed in 1910 and designed by a firm from Christchurch called A. & S. Luttrell. The building was constructed using new international methods of reinforcement at the time, and the two main facades were built in a Romanesque style. The building was built by Charles Fleming MacDonald on Bond St and has proven to be earthquake and fire resistant.

Dunedin Prison

The Dunedin Prison was the second Dunedin gaol to be built and was completed in 1898. The structure was designed by John Campbell with a similar feel to London’s Scotland Yard. The prison was constructed with superb detail and the contrasting red and pale exterior colours are an example of Edwardian neo-Baroque. The Castle St property was sold earlier this year to the Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust with the intention of transforming it into a tourist attraction.

Dunedin Railway Station

Described as ‘the outstanding monument of Edwardian architecture in New Zealand’, as well being regarded as the most photographed building in the country, the Dunedin Railway Station was constructed in 1906, during the New Zealand railing systems period of growth that occurred between the late 1890s to the early 1900s. Designed by George Alexander Troup, a notable feature of the station is the domed location at the SW corner of the building, as well as the stained glass windows depicting locomotives and tiled arches that engulf the ticket boxes. This beautiful structure, along with its blossoming and impressive garden, can be viewed and experienced at ANZAC Square.

Read more on Wikipedia

First Church of Otago

Completed in 1875, construction of the church began in 1867 on the back of R. A. Lawson’s architectural design. The gothic style of the church face was constructed with Oamaru stone and in 1873, Lawson sighted the spire had a lean and was too short and had to be dismantled and rebuilt. Louis John Godfrey carved the inside and outside of the building, which can be located on Moray Place.

Heritage Tours

A great way to experience Dunedin's heritage is to join a guided tour. Ask the Dunedin i-SITE Visitor Centre how to do this or read more about heritage tours here.

Larnach Castle

Larnach Castle is a must see for any visitor to Dunedin city. The castle is set high above the harbour where William Larnach commission the construction of New Zealand’s only castle in 1871. The Victorian castle is also well known for its 14 hectare garden and grounds which has been recognised as a Garden of International Significance. High Tea is a popular dining option at Larnach Castle which is served daily at 3pm. The Larnach Castle Ballroom Café and gift shop is also on site for visitors and the view from the castle over the city, harbour and peninsula is magnificent. The Castle is located in Company Bay, at 145 Camp Road.

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Law Courts

Designed by John Campbell, the law courts are one of the finest examples of Gothic civic architecture in the country and was completed and opened in 1902. The courthouse was built upon the site of where the old gaol was located. The building was built in a simplified gothic style and is located at the beginning of Lower Stuart Street.

Municipal Chambers

Completed in 1880 and designed by R. A. Lawson in 1878, the chambers have been altered throughout its standing including the removal and replacement in 1919 of the buildings front steps and its bell tower in 1963. The chambers set the scene for incorporating New Zealand’s first City Council, and is home to 'Norma' - an original symphonic pipe organ built in 1919 that is still operational. The building also contains the Dunedin Town Hall which reopened in April 2013 after an extensive refurbishment project.

Old National Bank Building

Located on Princes St, the Old National Bank Building was designed by architect W. H. Dunning and was completed in 1913 and was a replacement building with a modern faced, Hobart Sandstone façade. The building features a domed glass ceiling and is set over a large public banking chamber. Octa Associates recently restored the building to its current state.

Olveston Historic Home

A ‘must visit’ for lovers of art, heritage and history, Olveston is lavishly furnished with exotic artefacts, prized artworks, antique furniture, ceramics and statues from around the world. The 35-room Edwardian mansion was designed for a one of Dunedin’s most prominent businessmen, philanthropists and collectors during the early 1900s. The house was gifted to the people of Dunedin in 1966, fully furnished with the original contents, Olveston is a time capsule as little has changed inside the house since it was occupied as a family home. The house and its ‘Garden of National Significance’, within the city’s Green Belt, can be experienced at 42 Royal Terrace, within walking distance of Dunedin’s Octagon.

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Otago Boys High School

New Zealand’s secondary school, the institution was founded on the 3rd of August, 1863 and shifted to its present site in 1885. R. A. Lawson designed the Gothic style structure and provides an excellent viewing spot of the city. The school has an extensive list of prominent alumni including the likes of painter Colin McCahon, ex-mayor Peter Chin, current competing cyclist Greg Henderson as well as the current All Black captain, Richie McCaw. The school can be found on Arthur St, up the hill from the Octagon.

Otago Museum

A selection of rocks collected by Sir James Hector were the catalyst for the formation of the Otago Museum. Collected during the Geological Survey of Otago, Hector later displayed these rocks, along with his maps from the survey, during the 1865 New Zealand Exhibition in Dunedin. He labelled it ‘Otago Museum’ and the seed was planted.

For about 10 years the Museum was based south of the Octagon in a building known as the Exchange Building, where the John Wickliffe House stands now. In 1877 the Museum moved to its new home at 419 Great King Street, designed by David Ross under the care of its first curator, Frederick Wollaston Hutton. And, nearly 150 years later, it’s still there.

The Museum’s collection includes over 1.5 million objects from far and wide, which are used to tell visitors more about the world – from here in Dunedin to deep space, from millions of years ago to the latest envelope-pushing research – through galleries, exhibitions, displays, programmes, tours and talks. It is home to the world’s most comprehensive display of articulated moa skeletons, examples of New Zealand’s extinct and endangered specimens, the iconic fauna of the Otago Peninsula and the impressive Shag Point plesiosaur fossil, as well as a treasure trove of curious creatures in the Victorian-inspired Animal Attic.

For more information on the Otago Museum and our role in inspiring generations of visitors to connect with the cultural and scientific heritage of their world, visit our website www.otagomuseum.nz

Speight's Brewery

Speight’s have been brewing fine ales since James Speight, Charles Greenslade and William Dawson set up the Speight’s brewery in Dunedin in 1876. Speight’s gained international recognition by winning the fledgling brewery award at the Sydney International Exhibition and became New Zealand’s largest brewery in 1887. Speight’s provides tours of the brewery and is joined by the Speight’s Ale House, where visitors can enjoy the ‘Pride of the South’s’ brew and large, hearty meals. Speight’s Ale Houses have been erected all over New Zealand with Speight’s even running a campaign in 2007 called the ‘Great Beer Delivery’, involving a Speight’s built and transported, fully operational Speight’s Alehouse from Dunedin to London. The brewery tour and Alehouse can be found on Rattray St, off Princes St down from the Octagon.

Read more at www.speights.co.nz

St Paul's Cathedral

Completed in 1919, the Cathedral was designed by Sedding and Wheatly and replaced the Parish Church of St Paul. Construction of the Cathedral began in 1915 with funds for the project running out before there crossing and chancel were built. The Cathedral can be located at the top of the Octagon.

Toitu Otago Settlers Museum

Opened in 1908, the museum is housed in the original Edwardian galleries, Dunedin’s former New Zealand Rail Road Transport Building and the modern entrance foyer. The former New Zealand Rail building is designed in the 1930s Art Deco style with rounded smoothly plastered corners and horizontal lines. The Bus Services building was constructed at a time when few large buildings were being erected in Dunedin and is the most important Art Deco building of its period.

Read more at toituosm.com

University of Otago Registry

The competition for the design of the University of Otago Registry was won by Maxwell Bury of Nelson and construction of the building was completed in 1879. An extension to the building and additional wing were added to the structure in 1883 for courses of the medical, chemistry and mining profession. The registry is most famous for the clock tower that stands out like a beacon over the University. Otago University is located slightly to the NE of the city centre and the clock tower building centred directly across from St David Street, on the Leith Walk.

Downtown Dunedin architecture self-walk

An easy walk around downtown Dunedin exploring the stunning heritage buildings and Edwardian architecture from the early Scottish settlers. Stop in at one of the many cafes for a coffee and bite to eat.

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