The days and nights of winter in Dunedin are filled with extraordinary experiences for the whole family...
Dunedin’s past is full of stories about people journeying across the world to live here. One of the loveliest monuments to these adventurous settlers is the Dunedin Chinese Garden, the only truly authentic Chinese Scholar's Garden in the Southern Hemisphere. The tales of intrepid Chinese entrepreneurs and other history-making Dunedin people, events and things is carried on in the ever changing exhibitions of the neighbouring Toitū Otago Settlers Museum. The city’s goldrush days led to generous philanthropic donations to the city, some of which helped to establish the remarkable collection in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery which contains works by internationally recognised artists from Claude Monet to Dunedin's own Frances Hodgkins.
Jump, climb and learn
Raise your heart beat by trying out Leap, an indoors excitement treat all under the same roof. With over 54 trampolines including a separate dodgeball court and basketball hoops, it's an awesome place to have fun and expend energy. Take to the ropes and reach new heights on heaps of different climbing challenges with varying design and difficulty. Otago Museum’s Tūhura science centre has over 45 hands-on interactives, including a giant DNA-inspired helical slide, and a three-tier tropical butterfly enclosure, plus a multi-screen, laser-activated Beautiful Science gallery.
Winter is the perfect time to explore some of Dunedin's gorgeous historic attractions. Indulge your Downton Abbey obsession with a visit to Dunedin's very own Olveston, a wonderfully preserved Victorian family home furnished with fine art, furniture and artefacts purchased from all around the world. Or explore the lavish interiors and impressive gardens of Larnach Castle, offering 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! Elsewhere in the city, you can't go a block without wandering past other fine examples of Dunedin's prosperous past.
Home to talented jewellers, goldsmiths and artists with gems, Dunedin, has plenty of art galleries that hold exhibitions by guest artists and makers of tempting, wearable works. Gallery on Blueskin shows works of art and jewellery in a garden setting, offering café-style food and beverages, too. Moray Gallery holds successive exhibitions from various artists and has drawers-full of jewellery to peruse. Quadrant exhibits and sells contemporary New Zealand jewellery, sculpture and other 3D works. No doubt, if you take a walking tour of Dunedin’s galleries, you can inquire about still more be-jewelled highlights. Design Withdrawals stocks many intriguing New Zealand-made gifts and features a wide range of original works by jewellery artists.
Finding great food is such a great reason to explore a city and Dunedin’s rising reputation as a ‘foodie’ destination means you’ll make lots of tasty discoveries. Heavenly eating and imbibing experiences are to be had in all corners of the city and its hinterland. Local entrepreneurs are creating new adventures in chocolate-making with ethical origin ingredients in mind. They’re also wowing the craft brewing fans by inventing new drinks with groovy names. Naturally, our ocean-facing city has seafood specialists that combine high quality culinary skills with the freshest Pacific fare.