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Tours in Dunedin
We believe in creating your own tour. A customized tour where you choose what you want to do, see and experience while we worry about the rest. We will take care of the timings and coordination of it all.
We have put together all the great things Dunedin and its coastal region have to offer in a simple searchable list below. Just choose the categories you are interested in and make your selection.
Aramoana, also known as "The Spit" to locals, is a small coastal settlement, 27 kilometres north of Dunedin city, in the South Island of New Zealand. The settlement's permanent population in 2001 Census was 261. Supplementing this are seasonal visitors from the city who occupy cribs. The name Aramoana is Maori for "pathway to the sea". Spit Beach is a safe, popular beach, memorable for its stunning scenery. Spit Beach is also a constant resort for a small number of the yellow-eyed penguin or hoiho.
Baldwin Street is recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the steepest street in the world. The street runs up the northern side of Signal Hill, a prominent hill overlooking Otago Harbour, at slopes of up to 1:2.86 (for 2.86m horizontal distance, a rise of 1m). There are a couple of annual events held at Baldwin street, one being the Jaffa Race at the annual Cadbury Chocolate Carnival, where 30,000 Giant Jaffas, hard orange candies with a chocolate centre, are rolled down the street. Each Jaffa is numbered, and sponsorship is sold by various local and nationwide beneficiaries who get to keep the money raised. At the bottom of Baldwin St the Jaffas are funnelled into the finishing chute to decide the winners.
There are over 200 birds spread over 4 large flights in the Aviary, mostly exotic species. The Aviary is open to the public at no charge 365 days a year. All native birds are part of the co-ordinated captive breeding programmes. The breeding season is from August to mid-January. During the breeding season some birds will be on nest duty, out of view.
A lush, living, tropical environment, the Tropical Forest brings visitors face to face with some of nature’s most beautiful butterflies. Hundreds of these enchanting creatures roam free – some even stopping (on you) to say hello! Visitors will experience a hot and steamy rainforest from above and below, encountering an amazing array of flora and fauna within.
The Cadbury World tour is a chocolate-lover’s dream that overwhelms the senses! As you walk into the factory, the enticing scent of Jaffas, Turkish Delight, or cocoa welcomes you in, causing most visitors to let out a satisfied, “Ahhhh.” But that’s nothing compared to the all-encompassing chocolate scent wafting through the kitchen. Not only will your nose be working overtime, but with hundreds of buttons being made as you walk by, thousands of Roses being packaged, and one tonne of melted chocolate cascading down five stories, your eyes will have a feast to gaze upon as well. But don’t worry, your taste buds will have their chance too! In addition to receiving a bag full of samples, you’ll also have the pure liquid joy of tasting melted, still-warm chocolate.
Cargill's Castle, known as The Cliffs, was built by Edward Bowes Cargill, a member of the founding Cargill family, prominent Dunedin business man and political leader. Cargill's Castle was designed by Frances William Petre, a leading New Zealand architect, and its location on the St Clair clifftops has ensured that it remains a Dunedin landmark.Cargill's Castle is one of the most significant historic structures in Dunedin and one of only two castles in New Zealand.
Dunedin Chinese Garden is based in the city of Dunedin, in southern New Zealand. It is located on a site next to the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum close to the centre of the city, and close to other numerous city tourist attractions, including the Dunedin Railway Station and the Queen's Gardens.The garden is named Lan Yuan. This name was specifically chosen to be significant on a number of levels. The character lan () is the third character in the Chinese name for New Zealand (Xin xi lan, R), as well as being part of the name of the Yulan magnolia, popularly thought of as the flower of Dunedin's sister city Shanghai.The garden commemorates the contribution of Chinese people to the history and culture of Dunedin. Dunedin has had a long history of Chinese settlement, with many Cantonese people settling in and around the city at the time of the Central Otago Gold Rush in the late 1858 to1860s, only some 15 years after Dunedin was founded. Over two percent of the city's population is of Chinese descent as a result.The first Chinese Mayor of the City Mr Peter Chin, who was elected in 2004, was the driving force behind assuring the Chinese Gardens was built as a treasure and asset to this city and the future generations of all people. Of course most of the chinese heritage naturally belongs to its own peoples.
It's science with a difference in Discovery World! Experience heaps of hands-on science at its best in Otago Museum's interactive science centre, Discovery World! There's so much cool stuff that you won't know where to start! Encounter a rainforest teeming with tropical life... The Tropical Forest is a magical must-see! Enter a lush, living, tropical environment and come face to face with some of nature’s most beautiful butterflies. Hundreds of these enchanting creatures roam free all around you – some even stopping (on you) to say hello! If you love getting active you can engage yourself in Discovery World with the IBM TryScience Kiosk, challenge your friends to a game of air hockey or table soccer, inflate a hot air balloon, warp yourself with the trick mirror, stomp out a tune on the giant foot piano or test your skills with our tricky puzzles! Plus, don't miss our great science shows in Discovery World - they'll entertain you every Saturday and Sunday (and every day during school holidays) at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. With so much to do in Discovery World and the Tropical Forest you'll want to spend all day and all night there - and guess what? You can! That's right, we have sleepovers right here in the science centre!
The Dunedin Public Art Gallery’s collection includes an excellent selection of British and European paintings and works on paper, gifted by generous benefactors or purchased by the Gallery’s founding organisation, the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Society. Many of the major figures in Western art since the 15th century are represented, with high points including paintings by Machiavelli, Claude Lorraine, Rosa, Monet, Pissarro, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Turner and Burne-Jones. Other international aspects of the collection include Japanese prints, a small selection of 20th century Australian art, and much of the decorative arts collection, which ranges across costume, textiles, ceramics, glass and furniture.
Established in 1863, the first in New Zealand, the Garden was originally located on the site now occupied by the University of Otago. After flooding in 1867 the Garden was relocated to its present 32 hectare position. Since the turn of the century the garden plant collections have been developed along generic, thematic and geographical lines. They now include an impressive rock garden, four hectares of rhododendron dell, an Edwardian conservatory and extensive native plant collection. Dunedin Botanic Garden is a botanical, conservational and educational resource. It also provides a place for recreation and aesthetic pleasure.
Dunedin’s central city is a bustling hub which provides a focal point for residents and visitors. As the main business and retail area in Otago, the central city provides a huge range of facilities, such as shops and offices, civic and community services, restaurants and bars, museums, galleries and movie theatres.
In its early days, the station was the country's busiest, handling up to 100 trains a day, including suburban services to Mosgiel and Port Chalmers, Railcars to Palmerston and the Otago Central Branch and other trains to Christchurch and Invercargill. The city's economic decline and the reduction in the prominence of rail transport mean that only a handful of trains use the station today.
Mass produced cheeses lack the charm, delicacy and appeal of a hand made cheese. Interest in price, shelf life, and uniformity of flavour are the very opposite of fine cheeses made in small quantities by artisan producers. Artisan producers such as Evansdale Cheese who now make the best cheeses, doing as little as possible to interfere with nature and with more interest in preserving the flavour of the elements within the milk, in order to produce a cheese of character. Evansdale Cheese, recognizing that cheeses thrive on care and consideration, look after and mature their cheeses so that you can enjoy them at their best.
Hokey pokey is a flavour of ice cream, consisting of plain vanilla ice cream with small, solid lumps of honeycomb toffee - known as "hokey pokey". It is the most popular flavour after plain vanilla in New Zealand, and a standard example of Kiwiana.
World Famous at the Otago Farmers Market, with a bakery in St Kilda, Dunedin, Who Ate All The Pies is an Artisan Baker of the finest Gourmet Pies. Using the finest ingredients sourced locally where ever possible. We are increasingly becoming known as the best producer of top quality handmade pies and the purveyor of English classics such as Cornish pasties, English Pork Pies and that monumental English classic, the Steak & Kidney pie. Self proclaimed pie connoisseurs eat these Pies.
1848 marked the beginning of Dunedin as a Free Church of Scotland ( Presbyterian) settlement. The early settlers formed the beginning congregation or First Church of Otago with The Reverend Thomas Burns as their Minister. In 1998 First Church of Otago and Dunedin celebrated 150 years of settlement. 1998 also marked 125 years since the opening of this fine church in November 1873. Visitors approaching First Church from Moray Place scarcely realise that the spacious grounds were created by hundreds of men. Convicts worked with pick and shovel to lower Bell Hill 40 feet. The setting of lawns and trees is thus a raised platform with cliff faces on three sides; the spoil from the hill top was used for reclamation of the inner harbour area. The First Church of Otago, designed by the architect R A Lawson, was opened on 23 November 1873, just 25 years after the first settlers arrived in Dunedin. It had taken six years to complete. Built of creamy Oamaru stone with a base of Port Chalmers stone the church has weathered well. Extensive repairs and reinforcing were necessary in the 1950's. Major restoration was undertaken in 1991-92 after a nation-wide appeal raised $1,500,000.
The Forsyth Barr Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand. At various stages of development it was also known as Dunedin Stadium, Awatea Street Stadium, New Carisbrook, or its non-commercial official name during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Otago Stadium. It is also known colloquially as 'The Glasshouse' due to its resemblance to a horticultural hot house. The stadium was opened by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on 5 August 2011, replacing Carisbrook as the home stadium of the Highlanders team in Super Rugby and the Otago in the domestic ITM Cup. The stadium hosted four matches of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and after hosting Elton John in November 2011 will host its second major music event in April 2013, when Aerosmith perform in New Zealand for the first time.
Glenfalloch Woodland Garden where nature reigns supreme. Glenfalloch Woodland Garden, Gaelic for 'hidden valley' is an historical garden, established from 1871 - tranquil, beautiful, much loved and classified as a Garden of National Significance by the NZ Gardens Trust. Enjoy the peace and tranquillity and the panoramic harbour views; listen to the ripple of Russell Creek and the harmony of a native birdlife symphony. Walk among the rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias, fuchsias and a profusion of other flower species which integrate with native ferns, exotic imports and indigenous New Zealand trees. Meet a 1000 year old Matai Tree and admire our stunning autumn colours. Located on the Otago Peninsula, Glenfalloch Woodland Garden is only a 15 minute scenic drive from Dunedin City. Glenfalloch enjoys a microclimate that extends the seasons and nurtures growth. Take time to enjoy the garden and visit our artists in residence.
Discover New Zealand’s only Castle, built 1871 by William Larnach, merchant baron and politician, for his beloved first wife Eliza. It took more than 200 workmen three years to build the Castle shell and master European craftsmen spent a further 12 years embellishing the interior. Larnach spared no expense on his dream home, which features the finest materials from around the world. The Castle is still privately owned and cared for by the Barker family who purchased it as their home in 1967. Decades have been spent on the Castle's restoration, with the family having restored empty buildings from ruin and assembled a large collection of original New Zealand period furniture and antiques. Open to the public throughout, this conservation project has been funded through admission fees. The family has always been committed to opening their home and sharing this significant period of Dunedin and New Zealand's history. Scandalous and tragic stories, spectacular tower views and a Garden of International Significance complete this enjoyable award-winning experience. Boutique Lodge accommodation is available in the Castle gardens. Weddings, Balls, Conferences and Celebrations are held in the beautiful 3000 square foot Ballroom. High Tea is also now served daily in the Ballroom at 3pm.
The Moeraki Boulders are a group of very large spherical “stones” on Koekohe Beach near Moeraki on New Zealand’s Otago coast. These boulders are actually concretions that have been exposed through shoreline erosion from coastal cliffs that back the beach. They originally formed in ancient sea floor sediments around 60 million years ago. Some of the boulders weigh several tonnes and are up to 3 metres in diametre! Maori legend tells that the boulders are remains of calabashes, kumaras and eel baskets that washed ashore after the legendary canoe, the Araiteuru was wrecked at nearby Shag Point (Matakaea).
Mount Cargill', known in Maori as Kapukataumahaka, is a 680 metre high volcanic outcrop which dominates the skyline of northern Dunedin, New Zealand. It is situated some 15 kilometres north of the city centre. The peak is named for Captain William Cargill, an early leader of the Province of Otago. It is one of the youngest parts of the massive extinct Dunedin shield volcano and was formed some 10 million years ago. From the summit, views can be obtained of the entire Dunedin urban area, as well as a considerable stretch of open countryside and much of Otago's coastline, from Shag Point near Palmerston to Nugget Point in The Catlins. Particularly notable is the view of the Otago Peninsula and Otago Harbour, the entire length of which can be seen from the summit.
Here you will find a full listing of all sports people inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame. To view these listings, visit the Inductees section. We also sell a large range of sporting merchandise through our online shop. There is rugby memorabilia, cricket apparel, items from the Bruce McLaren Trust, along with a wide range of other sporting items.
The Octagon is an eight sided plaza bisected by the city's main street, which is called George Street to the northeast and Princes Street to the southwest. These form the axis of Dunedin's central business district. Several of Dunedin's significant buildings and institutions face this plaza or closely adjoin it. They include the Dunedin Municipal Chambers (Dunedin Town Hall), Civic Centre and Public Library, the Regent Theatre (Dunedin's largest live theatre), Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and St. Paul's Cathedral. Other buildings are the Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute and a multiplex cinema. Several restaurants and bars are located here. There is also provision for open-air dining.
Olveston is an eloquent expression of one man's dream. A tour of Olveston allows an intimate glimpse of the lifestyle of a privileged family in the early 1900's. It reflects a lifestyle enjoyed by just a few, but represents a most important piece in the mosaic of early New Zealand life as a whole.Visitors are very conscious of the family throughout the home, enjoying and experiencing the many treasures that were an integral part of the family's day-to-day life. Olveston captures this lifestyle completely. There is no more accurate or definitive example in New Zealand.
Our 307-hectare Cloud Forest is the largest area of native forest in mainland South Island where indigenous plants and animals can live in the wild without threat from most introduced pests. It is home to some of New Zealand's most fascinating and rare forest wildlife. Visit us and explore the Ecosanctuary's protected habitat where you will experience a natural encounter with South Island forest wildlife in a regenerating forest ecosystem. By visiting you will be supporting the preservation of biodiversity today and contributing towards a better tomorrow for our natural heritage.
Each Saturday morning thousands of people flock to the Dunedin Railway Station north car park to purchase local food directly from the people who made it. Our customers love the friendly atmosphere, the fresh produce and the bargains that can always be found. With vendors all selling different products it is easy to see why so many local people choose to shop here. There is food to eat on site, buskers and weekly cooking demonstrations.
The Otago Museum was founded in 1868 and has undergone many changes over the years. It is the largest cultural and heritage institution in Otago and has a collection of over two million natural science specimens and human history artefacts. The Museum is Dunedin's most visited attraction, currently welcoming over 300,000 visitors per year.
Penguin Place is a private conservation reserve dedicated in helping this endangered species survive. The project is entirely funded by the guided tours. This funding provides habitat restoration, predator control, a research programme and on-site rehabilitation care, for the sick, starving and wounded. The tour begins with a short talk outlining the issues Yellow Eyed penguins are facing, the lifecycle and how the project is carried out. A short bus trip over the farm takes the small groups to the reserve. While in the reserve your guide will lead you on foot through a unique system of covered trenches into viewing hides. Allowing access to the living areas and breeding grounds of this shy penguin, which provides the opportunity to witness and photograph undisturbed activity at close range.
Taiaroa Head is alive with wildlife species, many of them scarce nesting seabirds. Our jewel in the crown is the Northern Royal Albatross. To view this majestic seabird flying at speeds up to 120kph is an exhilarating sight. Experience it for yourself by taking a guided tour through the Nature Reserve into the viewing Observatory. The Royal Albatross Centre is located on the tip of the Otago Peninsula, about a 45 minute drive from Dunedin. We are owned by the Otago Peninsula Trust, a charitable trust formed in 1967 for the protection of the local natural environment. The Nature Reserve on Taiaroa Head is managed by the Department of Conservation. Taiaroa Head is also famous in New Zealand history. From a small Maori camp in the 1300s to a fortified pa where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840; from a wooden flagstaff to 1864 lighthouse to radar entrance for Otago Harbour; from an 1880s underground fortress to a large defence base in WWII. Taiaroa Head is today a Nature Reserve and iconic wildlife attraction.
The Speight's Tour is an award-winning, informative and interactive tour through a working brewery and heritage centre. This is a fully guided tour which takes about 90 minutes. You'll see, smell, touch and taste the ingredients that go into making Speight's beers and discover how Speight's became a legend in the south. Learn the history of beer making, the brewing process and how to make traditional wooden beer casks. You can also visit the Speight's shop, which is open to the public. There's genuine Speight's beer gear - so you too can become part of the southern man legend.
St Clair Beach is a popular summer destination for Dunedinites. It is one of the South Island's more popular surfing venues and is also home to the St Clair Surf Life Saving Club. At the western end of the beach, under the shadow of Forbury Hill, lies the St Clair Hot Salt Water Pool, an open-air public swimming pool nestled within rocks a handful of metres from the sea. The beach is also the site of the city's annual "midwinter plunge", which sees residents brave the chilly waters every year at the winter solstice. The beach's sea wall, esplanade and oceanway were rebuilt and renovated in 2004. In recent years the Esplanade area has become a hub of culture with many cafe's, restaurants and bars including the casual Swell Cafe-Bar and Pier 24 Restaurant and Bar with award winning Celebrity Chef - Michael Coughlin. In 2009 the face of the Esplanade changed significantly with the opening of the luxury St Clair Beach Resort hotel.
The Taieri Gorge train is a sightseeing train trip travelling through spectacular scenery and departing from the historic Dunedin Railway Station in downtown Dunedin. Departing daily it takes you on a journey through the rugged and spectacular Taieri River Gorge, across wrought iron viaducts and through tunnels carved by hand more than 100 years ago.
Tunnel Beach is a locality 7.5 kilometres (4.7 mi) southwest of the city centre of Dunedin, New Zealand. Located just south of St Clair, Tunnel Beach has sea-carved sandstone cliffs, rock arches and caves.