Eat Al Fresco
Fresh air and fresh food, a spring-time combo we all love in spring-time
The Long Dog – head to St Clair Hot Salt Water Pool and you’ll find hot coffee and amazing food all year round, with stunning views over St Clair and St Kilda Beaches
New New New Corporation taproom and garden bar – with 12 brews on tap and food trucks or guest caterers providing an ever changing variety of food, this bar area is new for New New New, having opened in 2019.
Vault 21 – found in the heart of Dunedin, right in the Octagon, this Asian fusion restaurant’s alfresco seating allows you to people-watch to your heart’s content.
Blueskin Nurseries Café – find food among the flowers at this picturesque, sustainability-focused café with a lovely outdoor area complete with comfy bean bags
Nicholl’s Garden Café – fresh, inspiring and tasty, a hugely popular local café beside the nursery’s young magnolias, roses, seedlings and more, this is sheltered alfresco dining that offers gardening inspiration.
Ombrellos – with 15 crafts beers, a quirky layout featuring an alfresco courtyard as well as cosy private rooms, this restaurant is a fascinating mix well worth a visit or two.
Tap & Dough - Tap & Dough Bistro is situated in the town of Middlemarch - the gateway to Central Otago. It’s outdoor seating craft beer and authentic wood fired pizzas, but it also boasts a selection of other popular New Zealand dishes, wines, spirits and experimental cocktail.
Topiary Café – found at Wal’s Plant and Fun Land, this busy café has cabinet full of house made fare from pikelets and scones, muffins and slices to panini, pastries and tarts. Great for families – especially when the model train is giving rides.
The Arts Edit
Our pick of cultural events for the season
Cities of Literature short play festival a University of Otago student-led series from 12-20 September which is part of the University’s 150th Anniversary celebrations
Fleetwood Mac at Forsyth Barr Stadium on 21 September – including new band member, New Zealand’s own Neil Finn
Dunedin Public Art Gallery’s springtime exhibitions include its own ‘Style & Substance’ which takes you on a journey through its stunning historical collection including portraiture, landscape, still life and animal painting by international masters.
Swan Lake – the Imperial Russian Ballet Company performs this master piece ballet at the Regent Theatre on 23 November
The Dunedin Art Show from 8-10 November lets you view and buy original quality artworks from hundreds of established and emergent New Zealand artists.
Stalk the crowds to the Celtic Noir Festival, 10-13 October, the dark, dangerous corner of the Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival, hear from thriller writers about the tricks of their treacherous trade.
New Zealand’s own Emily Perkins has adapted Ibsen’s famous play, A Dolls House, showing twice at Dunedin’s Regent Theatre on 6-7 September. A modern take on an explosive classic.
Mr Redlight is funny, inventive Kiwi theatre where a botched bank robbery leads to revelatory pie shop scene where anything could happen; showing in the Regent Theatre on 15-16 October.
Off the Beaten Track
Whareakeake – previously known as Murders Beach, Whareakeake is a secluded, north-facing bay with a popular surfing break, and a rather steep access road, so take care if driving down, or park at the top and wander down enjoying the view along the North Otago coastline.
Taieri Mouth – just south of Dunedin’s own seaside Brighton village you’ll find this small settlement, with its many picnic spots, a delightful, easy walking track from the Taieri River mouth, ascending into bush clad hills by the river gorge.
Rock and Pillar Range – rising above the Strath Taieri and Middlemarch this impressive range is distinguished by rocky schist tors and precious alpine vegetation. Māori call this range Pātearoa, hence the name of the Central Otago town at its inland end.
Sinclair Wetlands or Te Nohoaka o Tukiauau – the dwelling place of Tukiauau, an early Ngāti Mamoe chief, this wetland is a haven for over 46 bird species. Have a golden sunrise or sunset stroll in this restored natural area.
The Pyramids - these geological wonders lie within the Okia Flat nature preserve on Otago Peninsula. Nearby lies the pristine Victory Beach, named after the SS Victory ship that sunk off its shores in 1861.
Evansdale Glen - Evansdale Glen is a picnic area on Kilmog Hill (a transliteration from the Maori Kirimoko) with several swimming holes, a big, undulating playing field, the Evansdale Waterfall and the Careys Creek walking track.
Silver Peaks Tracks – one for experienced trampers, Silver Peaks scenic reserve has four 700m peaks that offer an almost uninterrupted panorama of much of inland and coastal Otago.
If you're planning to head to the Dunedin Craft Beer and Food Festival, check out this ultimate #dunnerstunner detox itinerary of things to do, see and eat in the aftermath.