Make the most of your stay in Dunedin and experience the lifestyle and activities Dunedin has to offer. There are a wealth of attractions to explore, events and entertainment, quality facilities and offers many recreational opportunities for students. The DunedinNZ social life web page has some helpful advice.
Visit Dunedin’s attractions
Dunedin has many unique tourist features, and visiting students are encouraged to get to know the city. Some of the “must-do” attractions are its heritage including New Zealand’s only castle, stunning scenery, and wildlife – Dunedin is the only mainland in the world with an albatross colony. Alternatively, visit the chocolate factory or follow the street art trail. Have a look at the DunedinNZ attractions web page for what to see and do. The Dunedin i-SITE Visitor Centre can direct visitors through the best options.
Entertainment, nightlife and eating out
Dunedin has a vibrant restaurant and café scene. Food choices ranging from strictly vegetarian and gluten-free to authentic international flavours, traditional fare and family options – and everything in-between. There are just as many takeaway food outlets in Dunedin, from standard fast-food outlets to ethnic food options. There are many websites with eating-out information - start with the DunedinNZ eat web page.
Dunedin’s nightspots are up there with the best, with great bars and clubs, live music, a casino, and two theatres. Bars will only serve alcohol to people providing proof they are over 18 years-of-age. There are also a range of visiting entertainment through the year. Read more at the DunedinNZ nightlife web page. Music is an important part of Dunedin’s culture – make the most of listening to the New Zealand sound.
The Dunedin City Centre has been well laid out to provide easy access to the all-important and necessary stores, services and facilities for visitors and locals alike, including banks, post offices, gyms, and internet cafes. Its shopping malls are in the city centre. Visit the DunedinNZ shopping web page for shopping information that includes fashion, gifts, homewares and necessities.
New Zealanders generally buy their food once a week, often from a supermarket, which are large and have a lot of different types of food and essential household items. New Zealand has a great range of supermarkets; major supermarkets include New World, Pak n’ Save and Countdown, most have an international foods section. Dairies/corner stores are small shops in every suburb that sell everyday items such as bread and milk, as well as ice-cream and hot takeaway food. The Dunedin Farmers Market every Saturday offers fresh seasonal produce from the Otago region.
The following link has good general information about shopping in New Zealand www.dunedin.govt.nz/services/newcomer-information/shopping-info
Services and facilities
There are a wealth of facilities to utilise, including parks and gardens, sports grounds, pools, museums and galleries, walking tracks, and a covered stadium. Visit the Dunedin City Council facilities web page or Dunedin i-site attractions web page for more information. Dunedin Public Librarieshas its central library in the centre of Dunedin, and several in outlying suburbs.
Explore Otago and beyond
Explore the wider Dunedin region, including Otago Peninsula, Middlemarch, Waikouaiti, Karitane, Taieri Plains and other local treasures. See the DunedinNZ wider Dunedin web page.
Dunedin is the gateway to much to see and do in Otago and Southland, including Queenstown, Central Otago, North Otago and the Catlins. Beautiful scenery, outdoor activities including skifields, and many adventure and visitor attractions await. There is much information on-line and at the Dunedin i-Site to help guide a visit beyond Dunedin, including the following links:
Connect with Dunedin people and groups
There is always something to do for people living in Dunedin. Follow this Insiders Dunedin link for a taste of what is on.
Events and festivals
Dunedin people love celebrating and have many annual festivals, including a mid-winter carnival. The city also hosts many events throughout the year. Look at the DunedinNZ events web page for up-to-date information on what is on now.
Sports and recreation
There are literally hundreds of sport and recreation opportunities for Dunedin residents. Sporting facilities include swimming pools, gyms, velodrome, athletics tracks, indoor sports centres, ice stadium, race tracks, New Zealand’s only covered stadium, and many walking and cycling tracks, to name a few. See the Dunedin City Council facilities web page for more information. There are many sport and recreation clubs in Dunedin to join - here is a list from NZ Sport to help search for something of interest.
Ask a student advisor or a local to help point you in the right direction if you want to know something specific.
Arts and culture
Dunedin has a lively arts and culture scene. It has museums, galleries, libraries, theatre, and a strong music and arts community. It a UNESCO designated City of Literature, a magnificent example of a small city that lives, breathes and connects through its people, its culture and its intense love of literature. It is also well known for its unique street art. Visit the DunedinNZ arts and culture web page for more information. There are many specific arts and cultural organisations in Dunedin that welcome newcomers.
Opportunities for families
There are plenty of family-friendly options in Dunedin. The DunedinNZ family activities web page has compiled a helpful list to start from.
Ethnic communities and activities
There are many ethnic and cultural community groups organisations, which organise and celebrate events and festivals during the year, and that welcome new members. Talk to an international student advisor to help link into a local ethnic community. The Citizens Advice Bureau multicultural web page has a list of some of the organisations in Dunedin with more information. The Connect South Settling in Dunedin link also has helpful information, or visit the Dunedin Multi Ethnic Council Facebook page.
There are numerous worship options in Dunedin. The Churches in Dunedin and the University of Otago chaplains links have information, ask a student advisor or a local, or get in touch with Citizens Advice Bureau in Dunedin.
Get involved and meet real New Zealanders. You have to experience some of Dunedin’s unique experiences, especially the Stadium.Adding Add to Information File Remove from Information File