Dunedin autumn and winter days can be some of the most spectacular in terms of wildlife viewing and crisp clear days. Fuel up on an awesome café breakfast and head out amongst this wild, beautiful city.
The Otago Peninsula has been described as the finest example of eco-tourism in the world. You can observe fur seals, sea lions, rare yellow-eyed penguins as well as the only mainland colony of the Royal Albatross in the world. Explore the quaint villages dotted along the harbour bays and discover Larnach Castle, New Zealand's only castle, with its 'gardens of international significance' and intriguing history of tragedy and romance.
Royal Albatross Colony & Blue Penguins Pukekura
See the royals in action! Visit the world’s only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross, explore the hidden tunnels of historic Fort Taiaroa and see the Little Blue Penguin colony at Pilots Beach. Daily tours operate from central Dunedin, otherwise self-dive the Otago Peninsula and spend a day spotting the birds. A highly recommended experience for all visitors to Dunedin.
Wild Things Offer
50% discount per person on Albatross (60 mins) or Unique Tour (90 mins) when you book with the code “Wild Things”. Deal Valid 1 April 2018- 30 September 2018 Bookings essential as spaces are limited.
Monarch Wildlife Cruises
See what can't be seen from land. Enjoy the fresh sea air with a cruise across the sparkling waters of the Otago Harbour to Taiaroa Head, where soaring Northern Royal Albatross land to court and raise their young, where seabirds nest and where fur seals breed on the rocks. On half & full day options take in the impressive scenery of the Otago Peninsula, and include other attractions including Penguin Place & Larnach Castle.
Wild Things Offer
20% discount on wildlife cruise or half-day cruise until end of October 2018 with our Wild Things deal
Elm Wildlife Tours
An outstanding wildlife tour experience, Elm offers small guided groups close-up viewing of royal albatross, penguins, seals, sea lions, and many more animals in our private conservation area. A very special experience that offers access to one of the most remote parts of the Otago Peninsula complete with stunning vistas and plenty of wild encounters.
Orokonui Ecosanctuary, just 20 kms north of Dunedin, is a specially protected native forest where visitors may see tuatara and 17 species of native birds. It has a track network to suit all abilities and offers self-guided walking and guided tours. Orokonui provides a experience to remember for families and its award winning Visitor Centre and café are open seven days a week.
Explore the Dunedin Street Art Trail
Grab a map and explore Dunedin’s outstanding Street Art Trail which is brilliantly woven through the central city and Warehouse Precinct, making for surprising discoveries around every corner. Featuring works from local and internationally acclaimed street artists such as the UK’s Phlegm and Belgiums’s ROA, the artworks provide a colourful and quirky addition to this heritage city. Younger visitors might like to check out the latest addition in the shape of Ed Sheeran on Bath Street. Grab a free map from the iSITE or book a tour to find all the new and hidden pieces.
Otago Farmers Market
Voted the best market of its kind in New Zealand, the Otago Farmers Market is a thriving community hub, where foodies gather for their weekly treats. With a focus on local artisan producers, there is a mouth-watering selection of fresh produce, cheeses, baked goods, chocolate, dips and sauces, honey, meats and of course coffee on offer. The popular stall-holders sell out early so get in quick on Saturday mornings at the Dunedin Railway Station.
Discover the Stunning Coastline
Not many people think of Dunedin as a beach city, but in fact there are over a dozen stunning stretches of sand within a short drive of the urban centre. On crisp autumn and winter days you’ll often have these beautiful spots to yourself. St Clair and St Kilda Beaches are popular destinations closest to the city. Just a little out of town, you’ll find Tunnel Beach, Brighton Beach, Long Beach, Purakanui Beach and Warrington Beach each of which has a unique character and gorgeous vistas.
Wonderful Walks and Bike Rides
Dunedin is an immensely walkable city with a compact urban centre and miles of beautiful hinterland and native bush within easy reach. A number of operators offer walking tours of the city and focus on heritage, street art, literature and even ghostly happenings, otherwise grab a map from the department of conservation and head out for a stroll.
Keen cyclists and mountain-bikers will also find plenty of routes to explore, ranging from easy harbourside jaunts through to more challenging hill-side trails. New Zealand’s original great ride, the Otago Central Rail Trail begins in the outlying Dunedin settlement of Middlemarch and makes an excellent day ride, with the option to do the full trail through to Central Otago.
A lush and verdant city, Dunedin has an excellent collection of gardens of national and international significant to explore. Closest to the central city, the Dunedin Botanic Gardens offer a peaceful haven to wander amongst an impressive collection of native and introduced flora complete with an indoor Edwardian-era Winter Garden. Larnach Castle, Olveston Historic Home, Glenfalloch Woodland Garden and the Dunedin Chinese Garden are other excellent options.
In Dunedin’s North East Valley, Baldwin Street is recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the steepest street in the world. The street runs up the northern side of Signal Hill, at slopes of up to 1:2.86 (for 2.86m horizontal distance, a rise of 1m). Try counting the steps; it takes about ten minutes, just to walk about 350 metres! But don't worry, there's a drinking fountain at the top. It is the venue of the world-famous Jaffa Race that takes place annually during Cadbury’s Dunedin Chocolate Carnival where 25,000 sweets are rolled down the street en-masse. Insiders Tip - Walking backwards is heaps easier.