What has seven letters, starts with D and has both a chocolate factory and a brewery? DUNEDIN. If you thought that was a winning combination throw in amazing street art, historic buildings as far as the eye can see, an albatross colony and a castle. Yup a castle in New Zealand, protected by giant birds. You can’t make this stuff up.
So what does one actually do when in Dunedin and does not have to attend a wedding? Well let’s start out with some culinary adventures. Surprisingly this town has a lot to offer. There’s remnants of the Asian influx during the gold rush years. You’ll notice quite a few Japanese restaurants. It’s the cafes here that really stand out. We never had an issue finding good coffee and brunch. Sizing wise we still had some translation issues. Occasionally a regular latte would turn up bucket sized.
Even if you’re not by chance a beer drinker you should still drop by Speight’s Brewery. The brewery has been operating of the same site since 1867. At $28/head it’s a little pricey for a tour. We’ve seen quite a few behind the brewery scenes so opted to spend out $28 on a very generous tasting paddle. Just a note- be responsible. They offer two sizes in the tasting paddle. If you need to drive at some point perhaps consider the smaller taster.
The below was taken at The Perc, a funky, friendly and affordable place with free wifi.
We didn’t get time to go and complete the Cadbury Tour. Prices start at $22 for an adult and $15 for a child.
Once you’re full of caffeine and feel ready to take on the world here are my top Dunedin must see.
1- The city itself. Ok that seems overly simple but it really is beautiful. Like the origin of the name it is very similar to large towns you see across England-Scotland. With a more edgy street art focus. You’ll be surprised at the art work hidden in lane ways and behind buildings. And take a lot of photos of the train stations. It’s expected.
Tip- Most of the CBD parking is time limited and is fee for service. The ticket inspectors here are like eagles on eco-friendly scooters.
2- Get out of the CBD and explore the areas around such as Tunnel Beach.
3- Take a coastline cruise around to Larnach Castle and the Albatross Colony. Which is also home to some super cute seals.
How to get to Dunedin?
For us price wise it was easier to fly into Christchurch and road trip down. We flew Jetstar and had no complaints.
If you’re interested in mainly the south of the South Island than you are perhaps better off flying directly into Queenstown. We found online quite a few cheap car hire deals to get cars/vans from Queenstown to Christchurch one way.
Virgin and Air New Zealand have regular flights from Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland (as well as a few other smaller cities) directly to Dunedin.
There are only international flights direct from Brisbane-Dunedin these days.
We chose Ezi Car Rental as they had an airport desk open at 6am. Price wise they were fine and we had a nice, clean and safe car. If you’re looking to hire a car from the airport just check that there isn’t any extra fees for collection from the airport. This is a different fee from ‘premium location’ fee. Some cheaper companies we looked at charged up to $15/pp to collect us from the Airport and take us to their depot to collect the car.
Dunedin has a lot of accommodation on offer.
We stayed at the Park Regis. Despite the fan fare and hoopla it was rather disappointing. Our room was very, very basic. We’ve had better room in hostels than this room. The room was very well worn and could really use an update and a steam clean!
At the end of the day it was safe, clean and tidy and we can’t always ask more than that.
Unique facts about Dunedin, New Zealand
- Dunedin is the Celtic name for Edinburgh
- Dunedin’s Baldwin Street is the steepest street in the world.
- Larnach Castle located on the Otago Peninsula is New Zealand’s only castle.
- Dunedin Railway Station is the most photographed building in New Zealand (and despite walking past it and over it at one point we didn’t get any photos)
- The Otago Daily Times is New Zealand’s first daily and oldest surviving independent newspaper
- It is also the first and only city in New Zealand to be named a UNESCO Creative City of Literature – home to some of New Zealand’s most celebrated writers including Janet Frame and poets Charles Brasch and Thomas Bracken – the author of the national anthem.
The above adventure was paid for in full by us. This is not in any shape, way or form of cheque a paid post.
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Coffee Lover | Travel Blogger | Horse Rider | Adventure Racer | Donut Dame. Generally nice lady-enjoys wine, indie movies & random dance parties in my tent.
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