Top Choice Bird Sanctuary in Oamaru

Blue Penguin Colony

Every evening the little tykes from the Oamaru little-penguin colony surf in and wade ashore, heading to their nests in an old stone quarry near the waterfront. Stands are set up on either side of the waddle route. …
Top Choice Area in Oamaru

Victorian Precinct

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 buildings. Descend on a dark and foggy night and it's downright Di…
Top Choice Wildlife Reserve in Otago Peninsula

Nature’s Wonders Naturally

What makes the improbably beautiful beaches of this coastal sheep farm different from other important wildlife habitats is that (apart from pest eradication and the like) they're left completely alone. Many of the m…
Top Choice House in Dunedin


Although it's a youngster by European standards, this spectacular 1906 mansion provides a wonderful window into Dunedin's past. Entry is via fascinating guided tours; it pays to book ahead. There's also a pretty lit…
Top Choice Museum in Dunedin

Toitū Otago Settlers Museum

Storytelling is the focus of this excellent interactive museum. The engrossing Māori section is followed by a large gallery where floor-to-ceiling portraits of Victorian-era settlers stare out from behind their whis…
Bird Sanctuary in Otago Peninsula

Royal Albatross Centre & Fort Taiaroa

Taiaroa Head, at the peninsula’s northern tip, has the world’s only mainland royal albatross colony, along with a late 19th-century military fort. The only public access to the area is by guided tour. The hour-long …
Castle in Otago Peninsula

Larnach Castle

Standing proudly on top of a hill, this gorgeous Gothic Revival mansion was built in 1871 by Dunedin banker, merchant and Member of Parliament William Larnach to impress his wife, who was descended from French nobil…
Wildlife Reserve in Port Chalmers

Orokonui Ecosanctuary

From the impressive visitors centre there are great views over this 307-hectare predator-free nature reserve, which encloses cloud forest on the mountainous ridge above Port Chalmers and stretches to the estuary on …
Historic Building in Cromwell

Cromwell Heritage Precinct

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 disassembled before the flooding and have since been rebuilt in…
Historic Building in Lauder, Omakau & Ophir

Ophir Post Office

The most photogenic of Ophir's many heritage buildings is this still-functioning 1886 post office.