With heritage architecture, buzzing nightlife and a pristine coastline, New Zealand’s “Edinburgh of the South” is a seaside city for all seasons.
Dunedin is a historic city nestled between a dormant volcano and the wild coastline of the Otago Peninsula on New Zealand’s South Island. Explore the city’s Scottish lineage through its heritage buildings, such as St. Pauls Cathedral and the Dunedin Railway Station. Then, discover the city’s natural beauty during a walk through the Dunedin Botanic Garden or the Glenfalloch Woodland Garden.
At the heart of Dunedin’s compact city center is The Octagon, a historic plaza that you can easily explore on foot. Enjoy the area’s lively pubs and bars, restaurants offering open-air dining, street performances and markets. Near to The Octagon you’ll find other iconic buildings, such as Speight's Brewery, Dunedin Town Hall, which is part of the Municipal Chambers, and the ornate First Church of Otago. Less than a mile (1.2 kilometers) away is the University of Otago. A five-minute walk from The Octagon will bring you to Cadbury World, New Zealand’s biggest chocolate factory. Enjoy a scenic 20-minute drive to Lanarch Castle, which was built in 1871 and offers high tea daily.
Head to the city’s southern coast for white-sand beaches and spectacular surf. Sample New Zealand’s fresh seafood and famous wines on the esplanade at St. Clair Beach.
Take a 45-minute drive along the scenic Otago Peninsula to the Royal Albatross Center. Sit back and enjoy the spectacle of these giant birds gliding into land at the world’s only mainland breeding ground for this species.
Dunedin’s seaside climate tends towards warm summers, while the city’s southern location makes for unpredictable winter days. Pack appropriately for the colder months, from June to August, but also include your swimming costume as you may want to join the thousands of brave people, often in fancy dress, who take part in the annual Dunedin Polar Plunge, a chilly beach swim.
Dunedin International Airport is located 18 miles (29 kilometers) southwest of the city and has regular flights between major cities in New Zealand and Australia. The city is easy to explore by public bus, bicycle or on foot, but watch out for the hills, especially at Baldwin Street; it’s considered the world’s steepest residential street.