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Olveston Historic Home (Olveston House)
Olveston Historic Home (Olveston House)

Olveston Historic Home (Olveston House)

star-5
203 Reviews
Free admission
42 Royal Terrace, North Dunedin , Dunedin, 9016

The Basics

An Olveston House tour is like touring the world through the eyes of the original owner, businessman and philanthropist David Theomin. He collected items from across the globe, which are now on display. Theomin family members lived in the house until 1966, after which the house was gifted to the city of Dunedin. It’s been a historic house museum ever since.

A guided tour of the house and gardens is a good way to learn about the history and culture of Dunedin, one of New Zealand’s most important cities. Travelers often visit as part of a full-day tour around Dunedin. Such tours usually include a few city attractions, followed by an excursion to see wildlife on the Otago Peninsula.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Dunedin & The Otago Peninsula

star-5
Very enjoyable
Chris-Helen, Apr 2021
Olveston Historic Home Guided Tour
Seeing everything so beautifully restored and taken care of in this way is wonderful and quite something that in 1966 the owner had the foresight to make it a museum.
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Awesome
HelenShale, Jan 2021
Olveston Historic Home Guided Tour
This tour was a wonderful insight into life in the early 1900s. Everything so wonderfully preserved. A rare treat, thank you!
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Art Deco Delight!
jeffrey_b, Dec 2020
Dunedin Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing with Olveston House Tour
Dunedin is a must see and this tour was perfect. A knowledgeable guide and plent of time to walk this fascinating community before ambling back to our ship. Well worth the time!
star-5
Learnt a lot about dunedin
Kelvin_G, Feb 2020
Dunedin Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing with Olveston House Tour
Learnt about the history of Dunedin went to many places. The driver was excellent and local knowledge
star-5
Enjoyable
LeanneStewart, Jan 2021
Olveston Historic Home Guided Tour
Very knowledgeable guide. Amazing collection of art and ceramics. Fascinating to explore a home that has all its original furniture and decor.
star-4
Great house!
Neil, Nov 2020
Olveston Historic Home Guided Tour
We really enjoyed looking around the house which has been left in a beautiful state just as if the family were living there. A very enjoyable tour with a very knowledgeable tour guide.
star-4
Dunedin ashore Excursion: City Sightseeing with Olveston House Tour
Larry C, Dec 2019
Dunedin Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing with Olveston House Tour
Our guide (driver) was on time. Very knowledgeable about the history of Dunedin. Very friendly. Highly recommend.
star-4
A very enjoyable experience
Elaine_B, Jul 2020
Olveston Historic Home Guided Tour
We were the only two on the tour which was wonderful. It got a bit rushed at the end. however, that may. have been due to us asking a lot of questions.the guide was very knowledgeable.
star-5
Grand old house.
Paul, Jun 2020
Olveston Historic Home Guided Tour
Really interesting look into how the wealthy lived in Dunedin in the early days. Quite an eye opener.
star-5
Amazing and Beautiful
DerrynandJenny, Nov 2019
Olveston Historic Home Guided Tour
Very knowledgeable guide. Wonderfully kept home, beautifully done. Dunedin is lucky to have such a treasure. A very enjoyable experience. Highly recommend a visit.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • A guided tour is necessary to see the interior of the house, but the gardens are free.

  • Dunedin is a very hilly city and Olveston House is located on a hill, so walking there may not be suited to travelers with mobility issues.

  • Not all of Olveston’s guided tours are the same. You can join a tour with morning tea, an art collector’s tour, and other themed options. Check the website for timings.

  • Tours operate in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, French, German, and Japanese.

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How to Get There

Olveston House is in Royal Terrace in North Dunedin, a suburb quite close to central Dunedin. It’s about a 20-minute walk from the Octagon, the Otago Museum, or the University of Otago. Guided bus tours take you directly to Olveston.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

Olveston House is open 9am to 5pm daily year-round, except Christmas Day. Guided tours run six times per day. As this is mostly an indoor activity, and Dunedin sees a lot of rainy days, a visit to Olveston House is an ideal activity when the weather is bad.

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Edwardian Games at Olveston

Olveston, built from 1904 to 1906, is an Edwardian-era house. For a fun morning or afternoon with friends or family or to celebrate an event, such as a birthday, book the “Edwardian Games” tour at Olveston. You’ll get the regular guided tour, followed by croquet in the manicured gardens, with a cup of tea or coffee. Bookings should be made a week in advance.

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