For many visitors, friendly Dunedin is a starting point for visiting the surrounding coast. The nearby Otago Peninsula is home to penguins, seals, and sea lions, with wildlife tours that seek the animals out in their natural habitats. An out-and-back trip on the Taieri Gorge Railway takes you through dramatic landscapes, while Larnach Castle is a historic destination for high tea. Don’t miss city landmarks, either, from the historic Dunedin Railway Station to St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Olveston House, and the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum.
Recent reviews from experiences in Dunedin & The Otago Peninsula
Things to know before you go
- Dunedin is great for nature lovers and history buffs.
- Weather conditions can vary widely around town and in the surrounding area, so plan to bring layered clothing if you’re headed out for the day.
- Book popular tours in advance to ensure a spot on trips that might sell out.
How to get there
Dunedin can be reached by car, bus, flight, and cruise ship. Several bus companies offer service between Dunedin and Invercargill, Christchurch, and Queenstown. Flights from Brisbane, Australia, arrive at Dunedin International Airport, which also has domestic flights from Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. If you’re arriving on a cruise ship, you’ll be based in Port Chalmers, a 20-minute drive from Dunedin city center.
When to get there
Mild, warm weather stretches from November through April, with the most visitors arriving in December, January, February, and March. May through August is the rainiest period, bringing cooler weather and very occasional snowfall. Rain and chilly weather is possible at any time of year, so warm and waterproof clothing is a packing must.
Wildlife in Dunedin, New Zealand
Birders and animal lovers will find a lot to see here, since the region surrounding Dunedin is home to a long list of fascinating species. On the Otago Peninsula, look for yellow-eyed penguins, little blue penguins, northern royal albatross, seals, and sea lions. New Zealand’s native kiwi birds can be found at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, and there are a wide range of wildlife tours that put animals front and center.