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Layered Up Outdoor Adventures

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Chuck on an extra layer (or three) and dive into the Dunedin outdoors this winter. Whether it’s to get the blood pumping to your extremities, or to top up the vitamin D, braving the cold will melt away the winter blues faster than a hot chocolate by the fire.

Take a Hike

From a short walk along a beach, to multi-day hikes – Dunedin arguably has more walks on its doorstep than any other city. From the skyline to the sea, there’s every grade of track and terrain you can imagine that will leave your muscles tired but your spirit soaring. We couldn’t possibly list them all here, so check out the local council and DOC pages for inspiration.

Two-Wheel Terrain

You wouldn’t think it, but Dunedin’s cycleway network is almost completely flat, making for an easy ride from one side of the city to the other, with plenty of historic sites, shopping and eateries in between. For those that do like hills, there are dozens of mountain bike trails within a few minutes of the city like Signal Hill, Nichols Creek and the Redwoods – all of which can be surprisingly dry in winter under the canopy of trees. Te Aka Ōtākou a 30km flat, paved trail that hugs the shores of the Otago Harbour. Save this one for the clear, crisp days, unless of course you want the tail wind assist. To top it off there’s pump tracks scattered around the city, Marlow Park’s working traffic lights and roundabouts for kids and of course the start (or end) of the historic Otago Central Rail Trail in Middlemarch.


With rolling hills, dramatic cliffs and Scottish heritage, Dunedin offers a golfing experience that honours the sports spiritual home more than anywhere else in the world. Sea breeze-assisted courses like Chisolm Links, St Clair and Island Park; historic and hilly city courses like the Balmacewen and Belleknowes; the flat and fast fairways of the Taieri courses – Gladfield, JT’s, Twelve Oaks and Taieri Lakes; and the hidden harbourside gems of Port Chalmers and Otakou offer something for every handicap. Need some practice? You’ll find driving ranges to perfect your swing and mini golf courses for more family fun - even cutting-edge indoor virtual golf. Dunedin’s golf scene is worth the green fees… you might even score yourself an albatross.

Frisbee Golf

If you find the idea of hitting a little round ball around a course a little tedious, try throwing a frisbee instead. With a quick flick of the wrist, you’ll be getting some much-needed fresh air, sun and exercise - and have fun while doing it. Frisbee Golf is a very popular pastime in Dunedin with Chingford Park being the epicenter as well as a great new course at Brockville Park.

Winter Waves

Dunedin surfers are well versed in the art of surviving winter – the coolish summer water means the neoprene never really gets a rest. Winter requires quite a bit more rubber though - hoods, gloves and booties will ensure you’ll fend off hyperthermia for a couple of hours to enjoy the thumping winter swells and some of the best set ups in the country.

Urban Wandering

Looking for something a little drier underfoot? The paved city streets offer terrain for a peaceful amble, to places to practice your parkour skills. Explore grungy laneways, stumble upon cafes, galleries, museums and heritage sites, even the world’s steepest street. The best way to see it all is via the Dunedin Street Art Trail for an added dose of inspiration.

Starry Skies

Dunedin’s dimmed street lights and dark outskirts offer amazing opportunities to marvel at the Milky Way or catch the dance of Lady Aurora. When the conditions are right, the Aurora Australis is visible from many spots around Dunedin but best viewed on a south-facing beach like Blackhead or St Kilda. Sometimes visible to the naked eye, the real magic is best captured with a camera. Even on nights when the aurora isn’t firing, the clear winter skies (and freezing temperatures) will take your breath away.