Dunedin is the wildlife capital of New Zealand due to the amazing array of endangered species in close proximity to the city. The coastal terrain, secluded beaches and bushclad hills are the perfect habitat for all manner of creatures of wing and water.
Dunedin City's beautiful Otago Peninsula stretches along the southern edge of the Otago Harbour and is an area of outstanding biodiversity. Globally renowned as a wildlife and eco-tourism destination, the peninsula is home to some of New Zealand's most rare and endangered species. The best way to view wildlife is with a guided tour, which are able to access areas not open to the public and follow recommended guidelines so as not to cause stress to animals.
Orokonui Ecosanctuary, just 20kms north of Dunedin, is a specially protected native forest where visitors may see tuatara and 17 species of native birds. It has a track network to suit all abilities and offers self-guided walking and guided tours. Over the 2020 winter, the sanctuary will be open 3 days per week, so call ahead or check their website for opening hours.
For organised tours that include local expert knowledge and transport to the Orokonui Ecosanctuary and Otago Peninsula contact the Dunedin i-SITE Visitor Centre
Dunedin has many committed wildlife and conservation charities working to protect the unique and endangered local wildlife and habitats. Find out more about volunteer opportunities or donating to the causes.
Species you are likely to see in and around Dunedin
Find out about a few of the unique species seal, sea lion, penguin, albatross and land-based animals Dunedin people can find just around the corner.