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The Top 10 Travel Spots of Dunedin

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Dunedin is on the southeastern coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

With its mix of Maori and Scottish heritage, Victorian and Edwardian architecture, and a large student population, it’s a city that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a nature lover, an art enthusiast, or a history buff. Perfect for your next New Zealand adventure, here are the top 10 best things you can do in Dunedin.

1. Explore the natural beauty of the Otago Peninsula

Get adventurous and out in Dunedin’s unique natural landscape. Escape to one of the city’s beaches located only a short drive from the city centre. St Clair Beach is great for surfing, Long Beach is famous for rock climbing and Tunnel Beach is a bucket list masterpiece with a spectacular sandstone arch that can only be accessed at low tide. Hike the Tunnel Beach Track or explore the popular Signal Hill Track or for experienced hikers, the Silverpeaks Track. Or if cycling is your thing, zoom down Signal Hill. The easiest way to get to the best sights in Dunedin is by car. Book yours at Go Rentals car rentals in Dunedin.

3. Meet the local rare wildlife

The Otago Peninsula is home to rare wildlife, including a large colony of royal albatross, yellow-eyed penguins, blue penguins, southern fur seals and sea lions. The Royal Albatross Centre offers visitors the chance to see the majestic royal albatross up close and take a tour. These enormous birds have a wingspan of up to 3.5 meters and can be seen soaring above the cliffs. Pilots Beach also offers a great chance to bird watch or spot the colony of penguins living on the rocks.

2. Visit Larnach Castle

Visiting Dunedin isn’t complete without seeing the only castle ever built in New Zealand. Only 20 minutes drive from downtown Dunedin, Larnach Castle was designed and built in 1871 in the Gothic Revival style, with intricate carvings, towers, and turrets. Perched upon a hill, with views spanning out over the sweeping hills and waterways of the Otago Peninsula, Lamroch Castle is an ideal spot for visitors to take in the beauty of the region. Open for tours and beautifully restored to its former glory, you can explore the castle’s grand halls and rooms and ornate gardens featuring a maze.

4. Walk up Baldwin Street

Baldwin Street is considered the steepest street in the world, and it’s a must-see for visitors to Dunedin. The street has a gradient of 35% and is a popular spot for people to take photos and try to walk up the steep incline. There is also an annual event “Baldwin Street Gutbuster” where people race up the street.

5. Have a drink at a local brewery

Cheers your glasses together to celebrate the day at one of Dunedin’s local craft beer breweries. Head down to the historic Speight’s Brewery that’s been open since 1876 or check out the popular Emerson’s Brewery. Sample your choice or a selection of beers alone or as part of a tour, earn about the brewing process and then chow down on some food.

6. Roam the Dunedin Botanic Garden

Dunedin Botanic Garden was established in 1863 and was New Zealand’s first botanic garden. The garden covers 63 acres and features over 6,800 varieties of plants, including exotic and native species, as well as a large collection of rhododendrons. You can take a leisurely stroll through the garden, sit in the lush gardens under a shady tree and enjoy the beautiful flowers and greenery. You can even take a guided tour to learn more about the plants and the garden’s history.

7. Go to the Public Art Gallery

A must-see for art lovers and history buffs, Dunedin Public Art Gallery is one of New Zealand’s best art galleries. Filled with a wide variety of local and international artworks, including contemporary and historical pieces. You can get close to the only Monet artwork in the country, paintings by Turner and Machiavelli, and a large selection of Japanese prints.

8. Check out Dunedin’s street art

Dunedin’s streets are vibrant with the ever-growing additions of street art around corners, alleyways and on the sides of buildings throughout the city. Painted, sprayed and created by local and international artists. Head down to the Warehouse Precinct by the Otago Harbour to wander around yourself or take a guided walking tour.

9. Learn about history at the Otago Museum

Soak up the region’s natural history, science and culture at the Otago Museum. Learn about the area’s first inhabitants, the South Island’s Maori people in the Tangata Whenua galleries. Or let the museum’s science centre, the biggest in New Zealand, spark your curiosity. Walk through the indoor tropical forest filled with butterflies and ride down the three-storey slide. The museum itself is housed in a charming heritage building dating back to 1876.

10. Drive to Port Chalmers

A short drive of 20 mins from Dunedin is the charming and historic village of Port Chalmers. Picturesque in its natural landscape and mix of heritage buildings, creative community of galleries, artisanal shops and cafes. Port Chalmers is a popular destination for Dunedin locals looking for a weekend getaway that you’re sure to enjoy just as much.

Image credit: CC BY-SA 3.0

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