The “Capital of the South” is one of the most attractive and enjoyable cities in New Zealand to visit. On this page you’ll find an expertly-researched guide to the best things to do in Dunedin that will keep you and the family entertained for the duration of your visit.
Located just under thirty minutes’ drive south of the city, the Orokonui Ecosanctuary is consistently rated as one of the best things to do in Dunedin. You’ll be able to see some of the rarest reptiles, birds, and plants in New Zealand. Look out for famous creatures, such as takahe, tui, and the mighty tuatara. The Orokonui Ecosanctuary is open from 9.30am – 4.30am daily, and entry into the main centre is free of charge. You can also book a guided tour for an additional charge, which will give you the best opportunity to get up close and personal with native wildlife.
Visitors from all corners come to Dunedin to see the magestic Royal Albatross. The Taiaroa Head colony is the only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross in the world. The area around the centre is blessed with a rich array of wildlife and coastal views. From the main centre you can take a short walk out to the observatory area in order to get some of the best views of Royal Albatross anywhere on earth. Chances are you’ll also spot some other bird and marine life as well, so make sure you bring a camera. There is an information centre and dining facility on site as well.
New Zealand’s only castle makes for one of the best things to do in Dunedin. The gardens surrounding the castle have been awarded the prestigious rating of “Garden of International Significance”. Highlights of a visit to Larnach Castle include wandering the tranquil gardens set over a massive 35 Larnach Castle include wandering the tranquil gardens set over a massive 35 acres, and remarking at the expertly-restored architecture of the building. Discounted family passes are available, and there is even the opportunity to enjoy a meal in the elegant dining room.
One of the best things to do in Dunedin – especially if you’ve got kids in tow – is actually free. A visit to the Otago Museum is a great way to expand minds and broaden horizons, and with free entry it won’t cost you a penny. Open 364 days a year, the Otago Museum is an especially good choice on a rainy day. Exhibitions cover subjects from Maori and Polynesian culture, to the natural world. There are also plenty of interactive displays that are purpose-built for younger children, and which will keep them entertained for hours on end.
Known as the ‘Pride of the South’, Speight’s is an iconic beer brand in New Zealand with a rich and interesting history. Dunedin is the home of Speight’s, and the first brew was made all the way back in 1876 at the Rattray street site – which stands to this day. The Speight’s brewery is open for guided tours as well as tastings. If you want to experience some great southern hospitality and enjoy one of New Zealand’s most celebrated beer brands, then a trip to the Speight’s brewery is well worth your time.