Dunedin's known history dates back as far as 1100 AD with the arrival of Māori to the area and archaeological evidence points to a lengthy occupation by Māori prior to the arrival of Europeans. The province and region of Otago takes its name from the Ngai Tahu village of Ōtākou at the mouth of the harbour. Dunedin's wildlife drew European settlers to the area; It is not known exactly when sealers entered the harbour; however, Māori oral tradition puts it sometime before 1810. By the late 1830s Otago Harbour had become an international whaling port.
Perched on the rim of an ancient volcano - the last eruptive phase ended over ten million years ago - Dunedin is the oldest city in New Zealand and still retains many of its historical buildings. Its name comes from Dùn Èideann, the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. In Māori it is referred to as Ōtepoti. For a city of its size, Dunedin is relatively easy to get around, regardless of what time of the day it is. It has very accessible recreational and cultural venues, great shopping, supermarkets, restaurants, as well as first-rate health care and education. The latest estimated resident population figures, released by Stats NZ, showed Dunedin's population had jumped by 1900 people, or 1.5%, to 130,700 in the year to June 2018, the number four by the city population after Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in New Zealand. Business event delegates to Dunedin discover a remarkably educated, creative and innovative city still thriving on its founding values. Dunedin was recently named a UNESCO City of Literature in recognition of its illustrious history of writers and booklovers.
Visitors to Dunedin experience a wealth of surprises - far more than the size of the city might suggest. Dunedin’s unique selling points are an enchanting combination of the intriguing and the avant-garde; a compact city of contrasts. A city steeped in heritage, where nature is only moments from the city centre, with warm, genuine people and a temperate climate, Dunedin delivers on its promise that visitors will experience a unique and authentic stay.
With a world-renowned university, the University of Otago, an innovative polytechnic and dynamic creative and technology sectors, Dunedin boasts a smart and engaged population. As New Zealand’s oldest university, it was founded in Dunedin in 1869, and since then students have made a major contribution to the city’s unique character. A stroll through the University precinct will offer you the chance to see the beautiful buildings, many with Victorian and Edwardian architecture. There are some outstanding modern buildings, some still under development. Close to the University of Otago is the Otago Museum. Its permanent collections, with a strong New Zealand and Pacific emphasis, and the special exhibitions make it well worth a visit.
Dunedin is a landscape of striking intensity with many stunning beaches and dramatic cliffs. Dunedin’s natural beauty provides the perfect backdrop for a world of recreational activities – nature and bush walks, golf, surfing, mountain biking, harbour cruises, horse riding and salmon fishing. The Dunedin city is renowned for its proximity to incredible wildlife around the magnificent Otago Peninsula. Visit the world’s only mainland breeding colony of the Royal Albatross or view the world’s rarest penguin, the Yellow-eyed, all in their natural habitat and all accessible within a short drive from the city centre. It is possible to book visits to the colony except at breeding times or when there are no birds to be seen. If you are keen on doing one of the Otago Peninsula Tours, then most of them will pick up and drop off from us.
Restaurants compete for space with a fabulous mix of shops and entertainment venues around what is known as the “Octagon”, the city centre. Certainly, Dunedin has an impressive selection of cafés, restaurants, bars, fine swimming baths, sports grounds and pleasant walks, especially in the Town Belt - a green area half way up the hills behind the inner city. The main shopping area is on George Street with an eclectic mix of Dunedin fashion boutiques, jewellery, galleries, artworks, antiques, souvenirs, bookstores, etc.
Larnach Castle is perched high on the volcanic spur of the Otago Peninsula, looking across the bay to Dunedin and out across the Pacific. The castle and grounds are an inimitable part of Otago history and a worthy stop in exploring the Otago Peninsula.
Discover a magnificent collection of treasures from around the world. Experience hands on science at its best in DISCOVERY WORLD and experience Otago’s Natural and Cultural Wealth. Highly Recommended attraction.
A cruise on the Monarch will enable you to view what cannot be seen from land. See a fascinating array of ocean birds and marine mammals all in their natural environment.
Hidden away on the north side of the Peninsula facing out to the Pacific Ocean. A haven for seals. A great walk. No sandflies. The "sand flys" from prevailing winds and blows up the hills.
An eco-sanctuary established in 2007. Home to endangered birds. Tallest tree in New Zealand. A big area, takes several hours to explore, but has a neat cafe for a quick visit.