6 Best Things to do in Dunedin, New Zealand

New Zealand is a wonderful place where you will fall in love, you can travel by car, motorhome or coach tours. Both the South Island and North Island in New Zealand has a lot of variations from snow to beaches, volcanoes, adventure activities, camping, wine and spa tours etc. Dunedin jokingly referred to as the Riviera of the Antarctic is the second most important city of South Island.

It is a beautiful, Victorian city modelled on Edinburgh, Scotland. The weather is quite even throughout the year. You get a standard temperature of about 12 degrees Celsius, with fresh breeze. The absence of a Gulf Stream meant that the ocean is quite cold all year round, and that is also why the air temperature is low.

South Island is such a beautiful place that the budget will have to be increased slightly to travel here. But the adventure and beauty are all very good. It includes rafting, jet boating, skydiving, bungee jumping, kayaking, hiking, and more. The beauty here is so much that you will not want to go back from here.

One of the best things about traveling around the globe is the fact that you can never run out of places to visit. Sure, places like Paris, Ibiza, Barcelona and Bali may sound great, however, what if you wanted to step outside of the box a bit. What if, you choose a place that has so much to offer, yet, doesn’t receive nearly as much media representation.

When compared to the above-listed, then a place like Dunedin in New Zealand may be worth your consideration. Why?

places to visit dunedin new zealand

Well, there’s a number of reasons and here are a few of the best things to do in Dunedin.

1. Wildlife sightseeing in Otago Peninsula

Speaking of places with unique wildlife sightseeing, Dunedin is at the very top of the list, not just in the region but in the world, for that matter.

Otago Peninsula, very close to the city, is one of the main tourist attractions due to its beauty and for hosting abundant species of birds and marine fauna. We must highlight the famous Royal Albatross (which is possible to see only in this peninsula); also colonies of yellow-eyed penguins, one of the rarest species in the world.

You see, this is one of the only places out there where you can see the incredible Yellow-eyed penguins. The animal itself is about 65 cm tall and weighs, on average, between 5 and 6 kg.

As such, they are the world’s fourth-largest species of penguins. The name comes from their yellow eye but they are also easy to distinguish due to the unique plumage that they get at the age of one.

2. Sampling local food in Baldwin Street

The next thing worth keeping in mind is the fact that there’s no place on earth that’s as getaway friendly as Dunedin. Sure, you’re not out in the wilderness, which means that you get to enjoy the place in a unique and completely customizable way.

For instance, when looking for accommodation, you can go with a high-end hotel or a frugal lodging of your own choice. The place itself is beaming with opportunities and local businesses of all kinds. This ranges from sampling the local food all the way to sightseeing.

In Dunedin you will also find the steepest street in the world, Baldwin Street and the Cadbury chocolate factory, where you can enjoy a delicious guided tour.

3. Sightseeing around historic architecture in Larnach Castle

Previously, we’ve mentioned numerous historic landmarks and the first one that we should add to the list is the amazing Larnach Castle. The best part is that it’s not just the incredible architecture of the place that’s worth seeing, seeing as how the surrounding grounds are just as impressive.

Gardens are open for the public to explore and taking a 14 kilometres trip from Dunedin to reach this place is definitely worth your while. As for the rest of the castle, the view from the tower is simply unparalleled.

Unlike some tourist locations, Dunedin is actually quite frugal as a travel destination. You can pack light and rely on the fact that you can get anything that you need on spot. We’re not just talking about the food and basic supplies. For instance, those who intend to vape in Dunedin will find that they can easily acquire all the necessary supplies there.

Other than this, the place is rich with historic architecture that you can go sightseeing around and taking photos of. The place is also rich with some of New Zealand’s best hiking tracks. Speaking of which…

4. Hiking tracks in Ross Creek Reservoir

One of the strongest reasons to visit Dunedin is so that you could enjoy some of the numerous exciting hiking tracks. A Ross Creek reservoir forest walk and a Tunnel Beach walk are just two of the places that you could visit. The scenery is absolutely sublime and each of these locations has something picturesque to offer, regardless of the time of the day.

So, do your research on the proximity of the track to your accommodation, the duration of the track and everything that you’re likely to see along the way. This way, you’ll be able to make a decision and itinerary that fits the rest of your journey plans.

5. See penguins in Sandfly Beach

It’s great because despite its name, there are no sand flies there at all. It’s called Sandfly Beach because the sand flies in the wind. You get to see penguins there. You get to see seals there. It’s so hard to get to that you’ll rarely see people there. You can sit in the dunes in fine sand and see islands and cliffs and animals, all at the same time. It’s incredibly beautiful.

6. Southern Lights in Tunnel Beach

Everyone has heard about the Northern Lights, however, not many people are aware of the fact that this atmospheric phenomenon has a twin sister on the southern hemisphere called simply – Aurora Australis. The reason why this phenomenon is not as popular is due to the fact that there are not many habitable places in the southern hemisphere from which you can admire this view.

Fortunately, the Otago Peninsula and Tunnel Beach are two such places. So, if you plan your trip during the winter months (in New Zealand this is March to September), you have the best odds of enjoying this unique phenomenon. As for the time of the day, midnight is your safest bet.

In conclusion

In the end, even though Dunedin is a prime spot for a vacation, it’s nowhere nearly as crowded as some of the places that we’ve discussed in the introduction. The frugality of the trip also leans heavily in your favor, which allows you to plan a repeat visit or something along those lines. Either way, with so many pros and without a single tangible con, missing a trip to Dunedin seems like a massive waste of opportunity.
Kalyan Panja