Must-see attractions in Dunedin & Otago

  • Observation area of Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony in New Zealand.

    Blue Penguin Colony

    Dunedin & Otago

    Every evening the tykes from the Ōamaru blue penguin colony surf in and wade ashore, heading to their nests in an old stone quarry near the waterfront…

  • Olveston Historic Home in Dunedin, New Zealand.



    Although it's a youngster by European standards, this spectacular 1906 mansion provides a wonderful window into Dunedin's past. Entry is via fascinating…

  • Old building in the Victorian Precinct of Oamaru.

    Victorian Precinct

    Dunedin & Otago

    Consisting of only a couple of blocks centred on Harbour and Tyne Sts, this atmospheric enclave has some of NZ’s best-preserved Victorian commercial…

  • Exterior of the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum.

    Toitū Otago Settlers Museum


    Storytelling is the focus of this excellent interactive museum, which traces the history of human settlement i

  • Nature’s Wonders Naturally

    Otago Peninsula

    What makes the improbably beautiful beaches of this coastal sheep farm different from other important wildlife habitats is that (apart from pest…

  • Takahe at Orokonui ecosanctuary in New Zealand.

    Orokonui Ecosanctuary

    Dunedin & Otago

    From the impressive visitor centre there are great views over this 307-hectare predator-free nature reserve, which encloses cloud forest on the…

  • An old train at Steampunk HQ, which portrays an industrial version of steampunk in the coastal town of Oamaru.

    Steampunk HQ

    Dunedin & Otago

    Discover an alternative past – or maybe a quirky version of the future – at this fascinating art project celebrating steampunk culture. Ancient machines…

  • Post and Telegraph office in Ophir, New Zealand.

    Ophir Post Office

    Central Otago

    The most photogenic of Ophir's many heritage buildings is this still-functioning 1886 post office, the oldest continually operated post office in NZ. Drop…

  • Grainstore Gallery

    Dunedin & Otago

    Crammed with weird theatrical sculpture, papier-mâché masks and vintage curiosities, this former Victorian grain store houses an ever-changing cornucopia…

  • Royal Albatross Centre & Fort Taiaroa

    Otago Peninsula

    Taiaroa Head (Pukekura), at the peninsula’s northern tip, has the world’s only mainland royal albatross colony, along with a late 19th-century military…


    Yellow-Eyed Penguin Colony

    Dunedin & Otago

    Larger and much rarer than their little blue cousins, yellow-eyed penguins waddle ashore at Bushy Beach in the late afternoon from a day of fishing. In…

  • Edwardian railway station, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand, Pacific

    Dunedin Railway Station


    Featuring mosaic-tile floors and glorious stained-glass windows, Dunedin’s striking bluestone railway station (built between 1903 and 1906) claims to be…

  • Otago Museum


    The centrepiece of this august institution is Southern Land, Southern People, showcasing Otago’s cultural and physical past and present, from geology and…

  • Larnach Castle

    Otago Peninsula

    Standing proudly on top of a hill overlooking the peninsula, this gorgeous Gothic Revival mansion was built in 1871 by Dunedin banker, merchant and Member…

  • Baldwin Street


    This street proudly held the title of steepest street in the world until July 2019, when Ffordd Pen Llech in the Welsh town of Harlech was officially…

  • Thames Street

    Dunedin & Otago

    Oamaru’s main drag owes its expansive girth to the need to accommodate the minimum turning circle of a bullock cart. The town's grand pretensions reached…

  • Cromwell Heritage Precinct

    Central Otago

    When the Clyde Dam was completed in 1992 it flooded Cromwell's historic town centre – 280 homes, six farms and 17 orchards. Many historic buildings were…

  • St Paul’s Cathedral


    Even in Presbyterian Dunedin, the 'established church' (aka the Church of England) gets the prime spot on The Octagon. A Romanesque portal leads into the…

  • Hayes Engineering Works


    Wander about the chilly workshop filled with lathes, drills and pulleys where inventor and engineer Ernest Hayes manufactured all manner of useful farm…

  • Emerson's Brewery


    This impressive brick-and-glass structure is the flash home of Emerson's, the microbrewery founded by local-boy-made-good Richard Emerson in 1992. Forty…

  • Maerewhenua Māori Rock Painting Site

    Dunedin & Otago

    Sheltered by an impressive limestone overhang with amazing views over the valley, this site contains charcoal-and-ochre paintings dating to before the…

  • University of Otago


    Founded in 1869, the University of Otago is NZ's oldest. Today the university is home to some 21,000 students, and is well worth a wander, with many…

  • North Otago Museum

    Dunedin & Otago

    This weighty museum plans to reopen after renovation in March 2020. The new space will house Waitaki Taonga (the Willetts Collection), one of the most…

  • Vanished World Centre

    Dunedin & Otago

    Stop into this volunteer-run centre to dig out your own real limestone fossils (to keep!) or check out the frightening 25-million-year-old shark-toothed…

  • Dunedin Public Art Gallery


    Gaze upon local and international art – including a small collection of Impressionists – at this expansive and airy gallery. Only a fraction of the…

  • Dunedin Botanic Garden


    Dating from 1863, these 30 hectares of peaceful, grassy and shady green space include rose gardens, rare natives, a rhododendron dell, an exotic bird…

  • River T Estate

    Dunedin & Otago

    Offering over 40 local wines by the glass, including River T's own well-regarded pinot gris and chardonnay, this new cellar door is gaining a reputation…

  • Glenfalloch Woodland Garden

    Otago Peninsula

    Make time to pause at these lush, well-tended gardens, filled with flowers and swaying mature trees, including a 1000-year-old matai. Walking tracks…

  • Forrester Gallery

    Dunedin & Otago

    Housed in an elegant, temple-like former bank building, the Forrester Gallery was closed for renovations at the time of research, but should be open in…

  • St Patrick's Basilica

    Dunedin & Otago

    If you've ever fantasised about being transported back to Ancient Rome, stroll through the Corinthian columns and into this gorgeous Catholic church …

  • Dunedin Museum of Natural Mystery


    This oddball collection of skulls, body bits, ethnographic art and beautiful bone sculptures has been assembled by local mural artist and sculptor Bruce…

  • Takiroa Māori Rock Painting Site

    Dunedin & Otago

    Hidden within the honeycomb cliffs lining the highway, this well-signposted site, 3km west of Duntroon, is of special significance to the Ngāi Tahu. It…

  • Penguin Place

    Otago Peninsula

    On private farmland, this reserve protects nesting sites of the rare yellow-eyed penguin (hoiho). The 90-minute tours cover 2km and focus on penguin…

  • Central Stories

    Central Otago

    Central Otago's history of gold mining, winemaking, fruit growing and sheep farming is covered in this excellent regional museum and gallery, which shares…

  • Oamaru Public Gardens

    Dunedin & Otago

    Opened in 1876, these beautiful gardens are among the oldest in New Zealand, and are a lovely place to stroll and relax, with expansive lawns, waterways,…

  • Bendigo Historic Reserve

    Central Otago

    Gold was discovered in Bendigo in 1862; relics from the rush can be seen at this historic reserve, accessible off SH8, near the north of Lake Dunstan…

  • Clay Cliffs Paritea

    Dunedin & Otago

    About as ‘hidden gem’ as you can get in an area rife with nosy tourists, these eerie and kinda creepy pinnacles, ravines and ridges have been shaped by…

  • Speight’s Brewery


    Speight’s has been churning out beer on this site since the late 19th century and is the oldest operating brewery in NZ. The 60-minute tour gives an…

  • Whitestone City

    Dunedin & Otago

    Ōamaru's heyday is brought to life by costumed guides inside this 1882 grain store – and you too can don vintage costumes (adult/child $20/10) and get…

  • Childhood Home of Janet Frame

    Dunedin & Otago

    Nobel Prize–nominated writer Janet Frame (1924–2004) grew up in this simple suburban home and drew on her time here to write her three acclaimed…