Play and experience the Hole-In-1 Golf Challenge on Otago Harbour. Tee-off from shore and get a Hole-In-1 on the pontoon moored some 100m away to win $10,000. When not having a swing at the golf ball, you can also hire e-bikes perfectly suited to exploring the harbour-side cycle-ways. Or, hire kayaks and paddle boards from which you can soak in the stunning views of Otago Harbour. Their café offers a healthy range of culinary choices and coffee.
Visit the idyllic village of Karitane just 30 minutes north of Dunedin city, and deepen your connection to the natural environment as you voyage across the enchanting Waikouaiti River in a modern waka. An outstanding experience made richer by the sharing of customs and stories of the local iwi and the spectacular beauty of the Huriawa Peninsula.
What better way to take in the majestic scenery around this coastal city than a train trip. Hop aboard a Dunedin Railways trip with options for the Taieri Gorge or Waitati Seasider excursions, both of which offer jaw-dropping views and an in-depth appreciation of the diverse terrain in and around greater Dunedin. An excellent all-weather family-friendly activity with options for short trips or longer day journeys available.
Voted the best market of its kind in New Zealand, the Otago Farmers Market is a thriving community hub, where foodies gather for their weekly treats. With a focus on local artisan producers, there is a mouth-watering selection of fresh produce, cheeses, baked goods, chocolate, dips and sauces, honey, meats and of course coffee on offer. The popular stall-holders sell out early so get in quick on Saturday mornings at the Dunedin Railway Station.
Cruise the Otago Harbour
A few hours cruising the sparkling waters of the Otago Harbour are a wonderful way to experience some of Dunedin’s most special places. A number of operators including Monarch Wildlife Cruises and Port to Port offer specialised trips that take in the wildlife of Taiaroa Head, revisit the maritime history and even offer ferry services between the peninsula and Port Chalmers. Along the way, you’ll catch glimpses of picturesque waterside hamlets, each with their own unique character. Port to Port also offer a harbour ferry service for foot passengers and cyclists in addition to fascinating wildlife and maritime history tours.
Dunedin is spoilt for wildlife and is known as the seabird capital of New Zealand with good reason. Twitchers and general admirers of cute feathered creatures can visit the world’s only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross, explore the hidden tunnels of historic Fort Taiaroa and see the Little Blue Penguin colony at Pilots Beach. Daily tours operate from central Dunedin, otherwise self-dive the Otago Peninsula and spend a day spotting the birds. A highly recommended experience for all visitors to Dunedin.
The dream of the High Street Cable Car Society is to reinstate a classic cable car service into town and back from Mornington, following High Street with its fabulous views of heritage homes, the city, sea and harbour. For now, you can visit their beautifully restored cars at Mornington Park each weekend and occasionally during the week. The jovial volunteer guides are passionate about these gorgeous vehicles and will relate colourful tales about their history and their hopes for greater things.
New Zealand’s only castle, Larnach Castle is set amongst lush and carefully tended gardens atop a hill on the Otago Peninsula. The beautifully restored Gothic revival buildings and grounds, offer an insight into the lives of the wealthy family that once owned it and in true Gothic style, the castle does indeed come with a ghost and a colourful past. These days the biggest drama is which kind of scone to choose as part of the glorious high teas served in the ballroom café. The castle is open for daily tours and offers a range of accommodation including the Castle Stable Stay, Larnach Lodge and luxurious Camp Estate.
Orokonui Ecosanctuary, just 20 kms 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. Orokonui provides a experience to remember for families and its award winning Visitor Centre and café are open seven days a week. Over the summer months you can try the very Zen-like forest bathing experience which is a meditative (and fully-clothed) experience in the lush forest.
Transporting you to beautiful sites around the region, Dunedin artist Tony Standford Shields shares his tips for painting with oils, watercolours and acrylics. Enjoy the supplied lunch and refreshments in between learning more about composition, colour and brushwork. He’s happy to work with individuals or groups.