Welcome to Dunedin & Around
Nestled at the end of Otago Harbour, Dunedin is a surprisingly artsy town with lots of bars and eateries. If you can unglue yourself from the city’s live-music and cafe scene, the rugged Otago Peninsula and northern harbour provide easy day trips (or longer), rich with wildlife and outdoor activities
Top experiences in Dunedin & Around
Dunedin & Around activities
Dunedin Shore Excursion: Taieri Gorge Railway Tour and City Sightseeing
After being collected from Dunedin port and taken to the grand Dunedin Railway Station, built in an elaborate ‘gingerbread’ style in 1906, board the legendary Taieri Gorge Railway.New Zealand’s longest tourist railway, the Taieri Gorge Railway takes you on a four-hour journey from Dunedin to Pukerangi, a distance of 28 miles (45 km). Traveling in a historic wooden train carriage, you’ll follow the course of the Taieri River, passing through almost a dozen tunnels and climbing the edge of the steep-sided Taieri Gorge.You’ll also cross century-old wrought-iron viaducts with magnificent views of the surrounding countryside, and enjoy several photo stops to capture the spectacular panoramas.Returning to Dunedin, enjoy a stop for lunch (own expense) before joining a coach for a scenic two-hour city sightseeing tour at 2pm.While listening to informative onboard commentary detailing the city’s history, travel past Otago University, New Zealand’s first university, and see how the scenically hilly city surrounds a volcanic bay, looking onto the Otago Peninsula. Plus, visit the world's steepest street! Your sightseeing tour also takes in the city's neo-Gothic churches, town hall, opulent theaters, imposing banks and other 19th-century buildings. Then admire the beautifully landscaped trees and plants of the Dunedin Botanical Gardens and the spectacular views of the Otago Peninsula & Harbour before being returned to the Dunedin port.Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your excursion ends with ample time for you to return to the Dunedin port for your ship’s departure. In the extremely unlikely event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.
Dunedin Shore Excursion: Small-Group Tour of Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula
After your cruise ship docks in Port Chalmers, just outside Dunedin, meet your guide at the dockside to begin your scenic small-group tour of Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula.Your route takes you above the harbor for views over the peninsula. Enjoy more views on the trip into Dunedin, and make a stop at the historic Dunedin Railway Station in the city center.Take the road out of Dunedin to the Otago Peninsula, and see signs of the volcanic activity that shaped this region over the millennia. Leaving the paved path, follow tracks toward the coast for views of scenic inlets usually visited by seabirds.Then stretch your legs on a short walk along one of Dunedin's most beautiful beaches, where the rare New Zealand sea lion can often be seen basking in the sunshine. Returning to your coach, continue to a lookout over the Otago Peninsula. Admire the views of sea and coast, including Cape Saunders, one of only two landmarks logged by Captain James Cook in the 18th century as he traveled around New Zealand.From there, travel along the the gravel roads to Portobello, and stop to admire the leafy residential suburb of Dunedin, overlooking the Dunedin Harbor. You will be given several opportunities to get out of the bus and admire the views. This tour takes you to the finest lookouts Dunedine and Otago has to offer. Then conclude your tour with the return journey weaving in and out of the various harbor side bays as you make your way back to Dunedin city or the cruise port at Port Chalmers. Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your excursion ends with ample time for you to return to the Dunedin port for your ship’s departure. In the extremely unlikely event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.
Dunedin Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing with Olveston House Tour
While your cruise ship is in port in Dunedin, see the many architectural and cultural highlights of the second-largest city in New Zealand’s South Island on a two-hour sightseeing tour with complimentary transfers to and from the Port of Dunedin. Your one-hour tour of Olveston House reveals the history behind this 35-room mansion, and details how it was built for a merchant and his familyin the early 20th century. Built in a Jacobean style, and filled with the sumptuous furniture and ornaments collected by the home's wealthy owners, Olveston House is surrounded by century-old trees and manicured lawns. Take a stroll through the gardens before being returned to The Octagon where you will enjoy late morning and early afternoon free time, a spot of shopping and lunch (own expense).In the afternoon re-board the sightseeing coach listening to informative onboard commentary detailing Dunedin’s history, travel around the city centre and discover how scenic Dunedin is built on a series of hills surrounding a volcanic bay, looking onto the Otago Peninsula. Then see how the city's buildings and roads ring the harbour when you visit the world's steepest street!Head past Otago University, New Zealand’s first university, and drive past pretty sights like the city's neo-Gothic churches, Edwardian train station, neoclassical town hall, opulent theaters, imposing banks and other grand 19th-century buildings. Then see the beautifully landscaped trees and plants of the Dunedin Botanical Gardens before being returned to Dunedin port.Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your excursion ends with ample time for you to return to the Dunedin port for your ship’s departure. In the extremely unlikely event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.
Taieri Gorge Railway and the Otago Peninsula Day Trip from Dunedin
After pickup at your Dunedin hotel or cruise port, transfer to the Dunedin Railway Station where you have 30 minutes to stroll around before departure. Take in the ornate Renaissance Revival architecture of the historic train station, known as “Gingerbread George,” then board your train for the 4-hour round-trip journey to Pukerangi. Your train steams along the Taieri Plains and into the mountains, chugging over bridges and viaducts that span spectacular ravines such as the Taieri Gorge. The train slows down at especially scenic spots so that you can snap some photos. Enjoy a stop or two along the route where you can stretch your legs and enjoy the scenery. As your train maneuvers along the curves of the railway carved into the rugged mountains. Your train operator provides lively commentary about the history of the region and its wilderness. In Pukerangi, you have about 15 minutes to walk around while the engine is switched for the return journey. Travel in a comfortable, heated carriage that is equipped with large windows and restrooms; open-air platform cars offer unobstructed views. If you want a bite to eat, the onboard cafe sells a variety of sandwiches, snacks and beverages.Upon your return to Dunedin, your guide picks you up in a comfortable minivan to take you around the Otago Peninsula. Your knowledgeable guide takes you to some of the most beautiful beaches in New Zealand. Your guide returns you to Dunedin in the late afternoon to end your tour.
Taieri Gorge Railway from Dunedin
When you visit Dunedin make sure you climb on board a Dunedin Railways train for a scenic train ride you will not forget.The stunning Taieri Gorge Railway is a world class train trip and one that should not be missed. Departing Daily from Dunedin’s stunning railway station this trip encompasses scenery that is spectacular, ever changing and unique to this part of the country and can only be seen from this train. The live commentary gives a great insight into the building of this railway through the enormously challenging terrain and is informative and entertaining. On the return journey to Dunedin City you can take full advantage of traveling the same route to take in the sights once more or pick up on those you missed.Taieri Gorge Railway is considered a “must-do” railway trip in New Zealand, not just for train enthusiasts, and is a brilliant New Zealand Qualmark approved all weather tour.
Half-Day Iconic Dunedin City Tour
Following a morning pickup from Port Chalmers or your Dunedin hotel, travel through the city as a guide sheds light on its history and heritage. During your tour, take in top attractions and popular sites including Cadbury World and the Jacobean-style Olveston House. Along the way, gain insight into Dunedin’s rich Maori heritage and hear stories from the city’s colorful past. Spin to a lookout point on Signal Hill to admire sweeping views over Dunedin and Otago Harbour, and discover iconic sites of interest such as the Toitū Otago Settlers Museum and Speight’s Brewery — where one of New Zealand’s most popular beers is produced. Head down steep Baldwin Street to the bottom of the valley, and enjoy a stroll among the 19th-century buildings at the heart of the University of Otago campus — often bustling with students and professors. After four hours exploring the streets and sights of Dunedin, return in comfort to your hotel or the port to conclude your tour.