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8 Reasons why you should visit Dunedin City, New Zealand

Dunedin City New Zealand is a contradiction of sorts. Nestled at the end of a picturesque harbour, its grand old buildings are surrounded by dramatic hills, rugged windswept beaches and incredible wildlife. University town and once pre-eminent city in New Zealand, Dunedin should be a contender for any South island itinerary.

Port Chalmers, Dunedin

Here are 8 reasons why we think you should visit:

The Royal Albatross Colony

Located on the wild shores of the Otago Peninsula, The Royal Albatross Colony is only one of its kind in the world. Visit the Royal Albatross Centre where you’ll have a chance to observe these majestic birds in their natural habitat.

The Royal Albatross Colony, the Otago Peninsula

Tunnel Beach

Dunedin's beaches are seriously beautiful, but Tunnel Beach is one of the best. Access is via a long thin tunnel cut through the middle of the cliff, opening out onto a rugged stretch of sand with crashing waves and dramatic cliffs.

The Dunedin Railway Station

This ‘gingerbread house’ building was created in the early 1900’s in a distinct Flemish Renaissance-style. Once servicing over 100 trains per day, the station is now more tourist attraction than transport-hub. We recommend visiting on a Saturday morning to experience the weekly farmers market held in its grounds.

Southern Lights

On a cold clear night, the Dunedin skies can reveal a very well kept secret — the Aurora Australis — only visible from a few places outside Antarctica. See it from the south facing beaches when the solar conditions are just right. The Aurora is a rare but unforgettable sight; don't miss the opportunity to witness it if possible.

Cadbury Factory

A factory, filled with chocolate. And you get a goodie bag. What more can we say?  This fantastical place is definitely a Dunedin highlight.

Larnach Castle

If you’re a history buff, you’ll love to explore New Zealand’s only castle. Built in 1871 for local banker and politician William Larnach, it offers a unique insight into the Victorian way of life. 

Larnach Castle, New Zealand

Dunedin Botanic Garden

Nestled on the edge of the North East Valley, Dunedin Botanic Garden is extensive and features a vast range of horticultural and botanical collections as well as a pergola and cafe.

Butterfly house

This one is more for the kids, but we have to admit, we love butterflies as much as the next ten year old. A tropical rainforest in the heart of the south, at the Otago Museum, the garden provides a welcome break from the city bustle (hint: the Museum itself is well worth some time for an insight into the history, flora and fauna of the south of the South Island).