Otago Farmers Market
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.
Karitane Maori Tours
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.
Take the A-Train
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.
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 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. Newcomers Port to Port also offer a harbour ferry service in addition to fascinating wildlife and maritime history tours.
Check out the Birds
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.
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.
Make a beeline for the impressive Tuhura Otago Community Trust Science Centre at the Otago Museum 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 Tropical Forest to frolic amongst 1000s of beautiful live butterflies. 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 in seven free galleries which are well worth exploring – or take a guided tour for extra inside information – before stopping off for lunch in the Museum Café or a browse in the Museum Shop.
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.
Explore the Dunedin Street Art Trail
Grab a map and explore Dunedin’s outstanding Street Art Trail which is brilliantly woven through the central city and Warehouse Precinct, making for surprising discoveries around every corner. Featuring works from local and internationally acclaimed street artists such as the UK’s Phlegm and Belgiums’s ROA, the artworks provide a colourful and quirky addition to this heritage city. Younger visitors might like to check out the latest addition in the shape of Ed Sheeran on Bath Street. Grab a free map from the iSITE or book a tour to find all the new and hidden pieces.