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"The Edinburgh of New Zealand"

Dunedin Tourism

Cosily tucked up in the steep hills of the Otago region in the South Island area, Dunedin is the best-kept secret of New Zealand. Named so because of the Gaelic name for Edingburgh, Dun Eidann, the city is also popularly known as the “Edinburgh of New Zealand” and identifies strongly with its Scottish heritage.

Punctuated by classical 19th century Victorian and Edwardian architecture, Dunedin is majorly compact and can be best explored on foot. The steep hilly slopes are peppered with tiny houses that are tucked away alongside narrow meandering pathways which give the dainty town a fairy tale look. The city brags of being the only mainland colony in the world which is home to the royal albatross.

The charming dramatic hill slopes descent to the gorgeous picturesque Otago Harbour.   Flaunting rugged raw beaches, gorgeous green clifftops and a pleasant climate, it is the second largest city in all of the South Island. Besides the several unique attractions including the unique Royal Albatross Centre at the foot of the Taiaroa Head, Dunedin also has a flourishing wildlife and some of the world’s rarest penguin colonies. You can also find plenty affordable accommodation options and enjoy a buzzing and vibrant nightlife in town.

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The history of Dunedin dates back to really long ago between 1250–1300 AD when it was occupied by the Maori settlements. Later, it came to be inhabited by the Waitaha tribes. And much later, in the late 16th century by the Kāti Māmoe tribes and then by the Kai Tahu in the mid 17th century. In the more recent history, it was discovered by the British explorer, navigator and cartographer. He came to the Otago Peninsula and spotted the seals, which eventually called for the attention of the sealers, at the beginning of the 19th century. The visits from these sealers also led to several feuds between them and the Maori tribes. But, as per the studies and researchers, European finally came to settle and started permanent occupation here by 1831.

Top Experiences in Dunedin

Aside from the spectacular landscapes, the glossy green hills, vibrant wildlife, rugged beached, gorgeous vantage points and a picture-perfect scenery, there is also no dearth of unique attractions in Dunedin that attracts a large influx of tourists all year through especially during the summer season. Among the most popular attractions and must-visit places in Dunedin, Royal Albatross Centre tops the list. The Otago Peninsula is also home to the rare blue-eyed penguins and the yellow-eyed penguins. Then, there is also the magnificent Larnach Castle, the vibrant Street Art Trail, and the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum etc. Among the top experiences is also mountain biking and cycling. There are several trails downtown and uphill as well which provide ample thrilling opportunities to explore the unseen side of the quaint town on a bike. Last but definitely not least, visit the Taiaroa Head and the Botanical Gardens for the verdant greenery and the rich wildlife.


The Octagon is the centre of the town where all the restaurants, cafes, clubs, pubs and bars are located. So naturally, that is also the area which has the most active and the vibrant nightlife. You can find all kinds of places here- the blaring loudspeakers ones’ which have groovy dancefloors and neon lights or slightly relaxed and breathy lounges where you can sit and chat. You can also find several fine dining areas here that will serve the most delicious seven-course meals with an amazing ambience. The most popular budgeted bars are Copa, Carousel and Toast etc. While, Pequeno, Albar and Tonic are frequented by more corporate-type people. In addition to this, there is also a casino which offers a premium experience with its refreshments, games, dining and the overall entertainment.


Dunedin has got its game up when it comes to shopping. From modern boutique stores to contemporary art galleries, vintage shops and upmarket outlets, the city has got it all. Some of the popular brands are Bellebird Boutique, Slick Willy’s, Ruby’s, Kiki Beware and Modaks etc. The antique shops can be found on Lower Stuart Street. Here you can also find second-hand jewellery, junk jewellery, designer handbags and other similar collectables. Moray Place is the go-to place for fashion boutiques and the upmarket stores and big brand outlets. You can also find famous art galleries also located here. The Octagon, however, has less shopping opportunities and more places to sit and chill or dine or simply just to get a beer from.

Currency in Dunedin

The only currency accepted in Dunedin is the New Zealand Dollar which is denoted by NZ$. Sometimes, it is also called as ‘Kiwi’ or ‘Kiwi Dollar’ to distinguish it from other dollar currencies. Plus, all major visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards are accepted here throughout.

Daily Budget of Dunedin

You can explore Dunedin in a fairly budgeted trip with an average per day cost for NZD 150. The dorm charges are around NZD 25 - 40 per person per night, a meal is typically NZD 15 and a bus pass ranges between NZD 125 - 159 for five trips. If you have a more accommodative budget, you can stay in better and far more luxurious hotels uptown. The goods are fairly priced and bargaining is not required at most places, barring some small scale farmer settlements where they might try to chip off an extra dollar or so.

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Dunedin Photos

Royal Albatross
Dunedin Railway Station
Baldwin Street

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FAQs on Dunedin

What is the best time to visit Dunedin?

The winters in Dunedin are extremely harsh, super cold and slick. It snows heavily most of the times. So, visiting town during the winter season is not recommended at all. The best time to visit Dunedin is between the months of January and May when the temperature ranges between 44 to 60 Fahrenheit, the sun is nice and warm and the climate is pleasant. 

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What are the things to do in Dunedin?

The top things to do in Dunedin are Tunnel Beach, Speights Brewery, Otago Peninsula, Moeraki Boulders, Port Chalmers, Emerson Brewery. You can see all the places to visit in Dunedin here

What are the places near Dunedin?

The top places near to Dunedin are Queenstown which is 171 km from Dunedin, Invercargill which is located 175 km from Dunedin, Karitane which is located 29 km from Dunedin, Te anau which is located 222 km from Dunedin, Arrowtown which is located 167 km from Dunedin

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