Travel Guide Oceania Polynesia New Zealand South Island Otago Region Dunedin



Railway Station in Dunedin

Railway Station in Dunedin

© amyruth85

Dunedin (Ōtepoti in Maori) is located on the south-eastern coast of New Zealand's South Island, on the Otago Peninsula. It is home to numerous 19th century buildings from an era when it was New Zealand's largest city. It is home to the University of Otago, New Zealand's oldest university and the South Island's largest employer. During the university summer holiday (November - February), the city is notably quieter as a result.



Sights and Activities

  • Dunedin Railway Station is the city's most important architectural building.
  • Otago University is the country's oldest university. There are some nice grounds to walk around and good local cafés and bars nearby.
  • The Royal Albatross colony at Taiaroa Head is the world's only mainland nesting site of albatrosses.
  • Otago Museum was founded in 1868 and has a collection of 2 million+ artifacts and specimens from the fields of natural science and human history.
  • Otago Settlers Museum.
  • Dunedin Public Art Gallery is New Zealand's oldest public art gallery and houses a considerable collection of works from various eras by New Zealand and overseas artists. It has one of the largest collections of works by Frances Hodgkins, who was born in the city.
  • Carisbrook is the city's main sporting venue, and a good place to catch some rugby.
  • Otakou marae is a Maori church / meeting-house that gave the Otago Peninsula its name.
  • Larnach Castle
  • Cadbury World, run by the Cadbury Chocolate Company, allows an insight into the running of a chocolate factory. Full tours (75 minutes) run from Monday to Friday and cost $18 per adult (16+), $12 per child and free for under 5 year olds. On the weekends a shortened tour (45 mins) costs $12 per adult and $7 per child. The tours run from 9:00am to 3:15pm, with extended hours during school holidays.
  • Speight's offers tours of its brewery. $19 for adults, $7 for children (under 18), free for children under 5. Tours run at 10:00am, 12:00 noon, 2:00pm, 6:00pm and 7:00pm Mondays-Thursdays. Friday to Sunday they run at 10:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm, 4:00pm and 6:00pm. [1]
  • Hare Hill is a lovely 60 acre farm located in Deborah Bay on the north side of the Otago Harbour, close to historic Port Chalmers and only 20 minutes drive from Dunedin. Hare Hill offers horse riding suitable for the beginner right through to the more advanced rider throughout the year.



Events and Festivals




The climate of Dunedin in general is temperate; however the city is recognised as having a large number of microclimates and the weather conditions often vary between suburbs mostly due to the city's topographical layout. The city's climate is also greatly modified by its proximity to the ocean. This leads to mild summers and cool winters. Winter is frosty but sunny, snowfall is common but significant snowfall is uncommon (perhaps every two or three years), except in the inland hill suburbs such as Halfway Bush and Wakari, which tend to receive a few days of snowfall each year. Spring can feature "four seasons in a day" weather, but from November to April it is generally settled and mild. Temperatures during summer can reach over 30 °C.

Dunedin has relatively low rainfall in comparison to many of New Zealand's cities, with only some 750 millimetres recorded per year. Despite this fact it is sometimes misguidedly regarded as a damp city, probably due to its rainfall occurring in drizzle or light rain (heavy rain is relatively rare). Dunedin is one of the cloudiest major centres in the country, recording approximately 1650 hours of bright sunshine per annum.Prevailing wind in the city is mainly a sometimes cool southwesterly and during late spring will alternate with northeasterlies. Warmer, dry northwest winds are also characteristic Föhn winds from the northwest. The circle of hills surrounding the inner city shelters the inner city from much of the prevailing weather, while hills just to the west of the city can often push inclement weather around to the west of the city.

Avg Max18.9 °C18.9 °C17.4 °C15.5 °C12.8 °C10.3 °C9.9 °C11 °C12.9 °C14.8 °C16 °C17.4 °C
Avg Min11.5 °C11.5 °C10.3 °C8.3 °C5.8 °C3.8 °C3.2 °C4.1 °C5.7 °C7.2 °C8.6 °C10.4 °C
Rainfall84.2 mm73.8 mm89.2 mm71.4 mm87.7 mm90.1 mm100.1 mm91.6 mm70.6 mm90.3 mm77.4 mm87.8 mm
Rain Days10.99.19.910.412.210.91011.110.513.512.513.6



Getting There

By Plane

Dunedin International Airport (DUD) has a number of flights. Air New Zealand flies to/from Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.
Virgin Blue, operated by Pacific Blue, flies to/from Christchurch, Auckland and Brisbane.

By Train

The Taieri Gorge Railway journey, and the Pacific Coast Railway journey to Palmerston and back are the main scenic railway journeys.

By Car

State Highway 1 passes through Dunedin. Allow 4.5 hours travel time from Christchurch and 2.5 hours from Invercargill. Be sure to get a good detailed map as soon as you can. Most hostels have very detailed maps for the central business district (CBD) with reasonable details for the outlying areas. Dunedin's urban roads can be very confusing with lots of one way streets, circles, and tight and winding hill routes.

By Bus

Intercity has buses to Oamaru (1,5 hours), Christchurch (6 hours), Queenstown (4,5 hours), Te Anau (4,5 hours) and Invercargill (4 hours).
Southern Link goes to Christchurch and Oamaru and Coastline Tours goes to Oamaru as well.
Naked Bus connects Dunedin with Christchurch, Queenstown, Te Anau and Invercargill. Bottom Bus does a circuit to Invercargill, Te Anau, Queenstown and back to Dunedin. Catlins Coaster goes to Invercargill, returning via the Catlins.
There are quite a few more shuttle bus services going to the places mentioned above, and also to Wanaka.

By Boat

Cruise ships are an increasingly popular way to visit Dunedin. There are 80-90 visits each October to March shipping season.



Getting Around

By Car

Some of the options to rent cars include the following companies:

By Public Transport

The Otago Regional Council's bus service is affordable: ☎ 0800 474 082. All buses are wheelchair friendly, about half are newish modern buses and half are cast-off from other cities. The regional council contracts several bus companies to operate the routes. Most drivers from any company will tell you where to find the right bus if you ask nicely, or you can call the council on 0800 474 082 (also free from cell phones), but only during office hours.

By Foot

The street blocks in Dunedin are quite long, and walking from the Octagon past the university to the Botanic Gardens can take the best part of an hour. Always remember that Dunedin has a flatter area by the water, and then climbs steeply. So, the shorter route may not be the easiest one if you are going over the hills. Check the contours before setting out.

By Bike

Dunedin's hills are extremely steep but the town centre is reasonably flat. There is an excellent flat ride out along the western shore of the Otago Peninsula to Harington Point, although it's a narrow road shared by lots of tour buses. A cycle track runs along of the industrial eastern shore of the harbour, about half way to Port Chalmers (busy highway the rest of the way).




For the freshest local organic produce, including fruit, vegetables, eggs, bread, cheese, check out the Farmer's Market. Held at the railway station Sa 08:00-12:30, it is a Dunedin institution and one of the best places to try local food. It has delicious delicacies such as crepes (including gluten free), the deservedly famous "bacon buttie" (far corner from the Railway Station, look for the crowd), whitebait fritters, and baking as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. It's rated as one of the best farmers markets in New Zealand.

One Dunedin favourite is the cheese roll - a mixture of grated cheese, onion and soup mix in a toasted rolled slice of bread, a speciality of the southern part of the South Island, available in cafes.

Lower Stuart Street, around the Octagon and the northern part of central George Street (including the side streets) have the majority of Dunedin's restaurants. There are also a few interesting places on Albany Street, which runs across the south of the University of Otago. There is a full range of ethnic cuisine available, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Turkish, Malaysian, Thai, Filipino and Indian.




Dunedin is known for its vibrant nightlife, mainly stemming from its large student population. It is also home to some well known beer breweries, Speights, Emersons and to a lesser extent Green Man. Speights was founded in Dunedin in 1876 and is now a national brand associated with Dunedin and the southern region of New Zealand. It is still brewed at the Dunedin location and brewery tours are available. The Speights brewery also makes Speight's Old Dark, and the Speights Craft Range of beer.

Emerson's Brewery Limited is a microbrewery located in Dunedin, New Zealand established in 1993. It has won numerous Australian and New Zealand awards and it is well appreciated by locals. Good places to find it on tap include Albar on Lower Stuart street and Tonic on Princess street. Riggers (plastic 1.25 L bottles) of Emersons can also be bought at Castle McAdams on Lower Stuart Street.

Green Man Brewery founded in 2006 specializes in batch-brewed organic beers brewed according to the Bavarian Beer Purity Law of 1516.

There is also a strong coffee culture with a number of good cafes.





You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)







Keep Connected


Internet cafés are widely available throughout New Zealand at rates of around NZ$2-4, though sometimes more in smaller places. Besides internet and e-mail services, most big internet cafés also offer some way for travellers to connect their digital camera and burn cds. Many public libraries have public Internet access, and most of them offer short free internet sessions. Wi-Fi access is getting more and more common in for example coffee places or fast food chains. It is becoming more common for Wi-Fi to be provided at hotels and motels, though sometimes at a fee. Wireless Hotspots are located in many cities and towns all over New Zealand from dedicated Wireless providers from whom you can buy connect time. Many camping holiday parks also have such services available.


See also International Telephone Calls

Dial 111 for emergency police, fire or ambulance services. The worldwide emergency number for GSM mobile phones, 112, can also be used.
The country code is 64.

Most payphones in New Zealand require the use of phone cards for payment and it is getting harder to find payphones that accept coins. As phone cards are available at a lot of outlets, they are easy to purchase and very handy as a backup in case of emergencies. Many of them also accept creditcards. Local calls are free from residential phones and charges for calling outside that area can be found at the front of the regional phone books, amongst many other services.

Mobile telephone coverage is effectively national in near urban areas although the mountainous terrain means that outside the urban areas, and especially away from the main highway system, coverage does have huge dead patches. Do not rely on mobile phones in hilly or mountainous terrain. Mobile telephone users can call 555 only to report Non-emergency traffic safety incidents, such as a breakdown, road hazard or non-injury car crash, to the Police. There are currently three major mobile carriers in New Zealand.

  • Telecom operates a UMTS (3G) network, named XT Network, nationwide on 850MHz with supplementary 2100MHz in metropolitan areas. (the same frequencies as Telstra in Australia and AT&T in the U.S.)
  • Vodafone operates a GSM network on 900MHz/2100 MHz and a UTMS (3G) network operates nationwide 900MHz with supplementary 2100MHz coverage.
  • 2degrees operates a UMTS (3G) network (2100MHz) in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, with supplementary GSM coverage provided elsewhere by Vodafone.

A prepaid sim-card connection pack with $10 credit from Telecom or Vodafone costs around $30, and prepaid sim-cards from 2degrees cost $10. Telecom has broader coverage in remote areas away from major cities compared to Vodafone and 2degrees.


Most areas have dedicated PostShops, however stamps can also be bought at grocery shops, supermarkets and book stores. There are two main formats for domestic mail, namely Standard Post and Fast Post. Fast Post is used next day delivery between major towns and cities (two days from rural areas), whereas Standard Post will take a few working days to deliver nationwide. Standard costs NZ$0.50 for letters/postcards (NZ$0.80 for larger envelopes), Fast Post costs NZ$0.80 (NZ$1.20 for larger envelopes). International mail takes about 3-6 days to Australia (NZ$1.50), and 6-12 days to Europe, Asia and the United States (NZ$2). Post boxes are white, red and black and can be found in many areas throughout towns and cities, including information about when their contents are collected. Most post offices and smaller post shops have opening hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 12:30pm on Saturday. You can buy stamps here, or at newsagents and general stores. For parcels, you can use the NZ Post or otherwise courier companies like TNT, DHL, UPS or FedEx.



  1. 1 Sourced Jun 09 Speight's Brewery Tour Details

Quick Facts


  • Latitude: -45.87456
  • Longitude: 170.503388

Accommodation in Dunedin

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Dunedin searchable right here on Travellerspoint.


as well as Peter (14%), olivergold (1%)

Dunedin Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Dunedin

This is version 23. Last edited at 3:29 on Aug 2, 17 by sleepBot. 6 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License