Dunedin has a range of high quality museums to explore.
The Dunedin Gasworks Museum is part of the now closed Dunedin Gasworks which was New Zealand’s first and last gasworks, operating from 1863 until 1987. It is one of only three known preserved gasworks museums in the world. This is a significant local and world heritage site.
A fantastic little museum with a lot to offer. A recent addition is a restored railway wagon detailing the significant contribution the Otago Central Railway made to the local community. But best known for it's most intriguing item - New Zealand's first submarine!
Museum of Natural Mystery Spread over three rooms of an old central city villa, the museum contains a collection of skulls, bones, biological curiosities, ethnological art and unusual cultural items which the artist has collected over a life-time. The long-time dream of artist and illustrator Bruce Mahalski, this is a museum and gallery with just the right amount of weird. In an added twist, the museum offers accommodation on-site, capturing the imagination of those that seek out more unusual digs.
New Zealand's greatest sports performers, their most memorable moments, the trophies and the tools of their trades - all come dramatically alive when you visit the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in the Railway Station in Dunedin.
Olveston has a world class Japanese ceramics and weaponry collection, English and Chinese ceramics, textiles and furniture collections, all on permanent display. Knowlegable guides take you through this authentic and original historic home, which reflects the life of a wealthy merchant family in the early part of the twentieth century. Opened as a historic house museum in 1967, Olveston is a time capsule where little has changed inside the house since it was occupied as a family home, from its completion in 1906 to 1966 when it was gifted to the city.
Make a beeline for the impressive Tūhura Southern Community Trust Science Centre, which features all manner of interactive activities and displays for kids of all ages. After you’ve finished channelling your inner Newton or Einstein, follow the signs to the Discovery World Tropical Forest to frolic amongst 1000 beautiful live butterflies and giant stick insects and then galactic enthusiasts can head over to the Perpetual Guardian Planetarium for an exciting journey through the stars in the 360° immersive dome theatre. The museum also houses a fascinating collection of local and international artefacts which are well worth exploring before stopping off for lunch in the Museum Café.
This museum contains treasures from the local community including the old Cape Saunders lighthouse lantern room, the old local jail, an restored cannon found at Harington Point and photos & geneology relating to families on the Otago Peninsula.
The museum contains a wealth of artifacts and information to excite and inform the visitor, the collections being organised into four main areas: social history, maritime, photographic and painting.
The society operates a historical park complex displaying how life used to be on the Taieri. Historic buildings include a courthouse, jail, school, church and steam engine shed.
A museum, but not as you know it. Toitu expertly mingles the early history of Dunedin’s settler population with installations from more recent times, complete with trolleybuses and vintage caravans. The interactive exhibits include a recreated settler’s house and ships cabin, which offer a fascinating insight into the conditions faced by many in the early years of the Dunedin settlement.
The Waikouaiti Coast Heritage Centre is a high quality regional museum and information centre that is part visitor attraction, part information provider, and part collector and conservator of local heritage items.