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DUNEDIN REGION

 

DUNEDIN'S APPEALS ARE AGRICULTURAL, ARCHITECTURAL, CULTURAL, EDUCATIONAL, GEOLOGICAL, AND ORNITHOLOGICAL. PREFER SAND BETWEEN YOUR TOES?
DUNEDIN OFFERS GREAT BEACHES, TOO.

ABOVE: LARNACH CASTLE ON THE OTAGO PENINSULA NZ TOURISM PHOTO

Discover Dunedin:
Scotland of the South Pacific

The South Island's Second City has a rich history and varied geography,
offering attractions for birders, beachcombers, and culture and rail buffs.

 

Attractions in Dunedin City: Like Auckland on the North Island, Dunedin is a city arranged among the cones and craters of an extinct volcanic landscape. And, like Auckland, Dunedin city has spread far beyond its original setting to include considerable territory and incorporate several towns within its modern limits, so much so that Dunedin is New Zealand's largest city by area. Its territorial population (approx. 123,000) is second largest on the South Island (after Christchurch), and fifth overall in New Zealand. The inner city lays at the western end of Otago Harbour and is ringed by a crescent rim of volcanic hills. The city's center, The Octagon, is at the base of the ancient crater just west of State Highway 1, Dunedin's landmark 1906 Flemish Renaissance railway station ("Gingerbread George") and the harbor.

 

          Scottish immigrants settled here in

St. Paul's Cathedral and the Dunedin Town Hall are two landmark buildings lining central Dunedin's Octagon. Photo NZ Tourism.
St. Paul's Cathedral and the Dunedin Town Hall are
 landmark buildings lining central Dunedin's Octagon.

Photo NZ Tourism

 1848, calling their town Dunedin, Scots Gaelic for Edinburgh. When gold was found nearby (1861) the resulting gold rush made Dunedin the largest city in New Zealand.  Imposing churches, concert halls, and other buildings soon were built. The country's first university, the University of Otago, was founded in 1869. Extensions of the railway from Christchurch arrived in 1878 and from Invercargill a year later. Houses in the ornate Victorian style lined the hilly streets surrounding the city center. Around the Octagon and throughout the city center churches, galleries,

museums, the city administration center, and two cathedrals were constructed in gothic style of native South Island marble and bluestone. Dunedin the furthest city in the world from Edinburgh, London, and other European capitals was built in their High Victorian image.

 

Attractions in Greater Dunedin: Two principal attractions draw international visitors to Dunedin: The Taieri Gorge Railway and The Otago Peninsula:

THE TAIERI GORGE RAILWAY is a tourist railway that operates trains from Dunedin Railway Station inland (west) through the mountains to Pukerangi or Middlemarch via the scenic Taieri Gorge toward the old gold fields of Otago. Trains operate daily year round and connect to the OTAGO CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL, offering day & multi-day cycling excursions. The railway also offers Seasider trains north from Dunedin along the coast with views of Otago Harbour and the South Pacific.


Entering Taieri Gorge in the
mountains west of Dunedin.

Taieri Gorge Railway Photo
 

 
 

Looking into Taieri Gorge from the Taieri Gorge Railway.
photo home at first

 

Albatross chick testing its fledging wings on Taiaroa Head. Photo DunedinNZ.
Albatross chick testing its fledging
wings on Taiaroa Head.
Photo DunedinNZ
 

The Otago Peninsula extends twenty miles east of  Dunedin city. A scenic coast road traces the peninsular perimeter. While most of the peninsula is an undeveloped conservation district, the peninsula has some very inviting beaches and spectacular  sea cliffs. Birders and others often visit certain beaches hoping to see the rare yellow-eyed and blue penguins which nest on the peninsula. The world's only mainland albatross colony occupies a protected headland at the far end of the peninsula. The Royal Albatross Centre offers tours at the colony about an hour's drive northeast of downtown Dunedin at Taiaroa Head.

 

 

Looking southwest to Dunedin from the Otago Peninsula.
photo home at first

 
 

Looking northeast from the Otago Peninsula across Otago Harbour.
photo home at first

 
 

Royal Albatross off Taiaroa Head on the tip of the Otago Peninsula.
photo home at first

 

Lodgings: Top quality bed and breakfast lodgings in Dunedin close to all central city attractions and convenient for exploring the Otago Peninsula. See Sample Lodgings:

DUNEDIN HOUSE    DUNEDIN LODGE

Home At First's Dunedin lodgings
provide a comfortable, convenient
base for touring and activities in 
the city and on the Otago Peninsula.

Photos Home At First

Dunedin House bedroom. Photo  Home At First.

   
Street sign aids walkers strolling at the Octagon in downtown Dunedin. DunedinNZ Photo.

Getting around Dunedin: Use of a rental car is essential here. Expect congested traffic on city streets. A section of State Highway 1 is a limited access motorway through Dunedin city center. Outside of Dunedin roads are usually lightly traveled.

Street sign aids walkers strolling near
the Octagon in downtown Dunedin.

DunedinNZ Photo

   

Getting to/from Dunedin: Home At First guests arrive in Dunedin by rental car, normally coming east from Queenstown or Te Anau in Fiordland in 3-4.5 hours. Adventuresome guests may arrive by the Taieri Gorge Express train from Pukerangi or Middlemarch following a multi-day cycle tour from Queenstown on the OTAGO CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL. Most depart Dunedin northwest for Mt. Cook/Lake Tekapo in 3-5 scenic hours or northeast to Christchurch in 4-6 hours.

The yellow-eyed penguin is thought
to be the world's rarest penguin.
Its habitat includes the Otago
Peninsula east of Dunedin.

DunedinNZ Photo.

The yellow-eyed penguin is thought to be the world's rarest penguin. Its habitat includes the Otago Peninsula east of Dunedin. DunedinNZ Photo.

 

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