Dunedin travel guide

Dunedin Tourism | Dunedin Guide

You're Going to Love Dunedin

In many ways, Dunedin, a port town, still retains many of its Scottish and Gaelic roots, while embracing the unique foliage and culture of New Zealand. A university town with a strong historical memory and an ecological haven for rare species of wildlife, Dunedin will show you a place you never imagined existed.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Dunedin

1. Chinese Gardens Anyone?

Dunedin Chinese Garden is a serene sanctuary in the midst of an urban center. Enjoy the traditional Chinese tea and dumplings, after having a quiet walk through the gardens.

2. Even the Breweries Are Historic

The Speight's brewery is a Dunedin landmark. Learn the secrets of brewing beer since the time of the ancient Babylonians and finish your trip off with beer tastings.

3. Birding Enthusiasts at the Royal Albatross Centre

Located at Taiaroa Head is the world's only mainland albatross nesting site. If you've been waiting to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat, drive along the Otago Peninsula's west coast.

4. Visit the Orokonui Ecosanctuary

Between Port Chalmers and Waitati is this beautiful conservation area, home to New Zealand's incredible and rarely sighted wildlife. The sanctuary is committed to keeping these creatures undisturbed so observations are on a tour-basis only.

5. Go Beach Hopping

Check out the ever-popular St Clair beach, along with St Kilda, where, along with the local residents, you'll meet seals, blue penguins, and sea lions.

Where to Eat in Dunedin

Traditional Dunedin fare is traditional English isle fare: good ol' fish 'n' chips. But Dunedinites also love their farmers markets for fresh eats. Check out "bacon butties" at the Farmers Market for NZ$6 and then head to Best Cafe for a lunch of fresh oysters and fish 'n' chips that are crispy, not too greasy, and scrumptious for around NZ$30.

When to visit Dunedin

Dunedin in February
Estimated hotel price
$118
1 night at 3-star hotel
Dunedin in February
Estimated hotel price
$118
1 night at 3-star hotel

Dunedin experiences snowfall every couple of years and does get cold and slick in the winters. January to May is the best time to visit as the sun is mostly out and temperatures range from 44 to 60.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Dunedin

Plane

Travelers visiting Dunedin will land at the Dunedin International Airport (DUD), which is 19 miles west of the city center. Use a shared shuttle for between NZ$25 - NZ$35 or hail a taxi for NZ$60 - NZ$100 to get into town.

Train

Trains to Dunedin come from around the country via the InterCity train service. Fares can be booked online; single trips start from about NZ$45.

Car

To drive from cities like Queenstown to Dunedin, use State Highway 85 or a combination of SH6 and SH1. This particular journey is 175 miles and takes about three hours non-stop.

Bus

Book tickets from cities like Christchurch, Invercargill, Wanaka, and Queenstown from providers like InterCity or Atomic Shuttles. A trip from Christchurch to Dunedin starts at NZ$36.

Airports near Dunedin

Airlines serving Dunedin

United Airlines
Good (2,307 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (570 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (175 reviews)
LATAM Airlines
Good (557 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (115 reviews)
Virgin Atlantic
Good (129 reviews)
Qantas Airways
Good (74 reviews)
EVA Air
Excellent (35 reviews)
Air New Zealand
Excellent (34 reviews)
Jetstar
Good (38 reviews)
Air China
Good (5 reviews)
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Where to stay in Dunedin

Fletcher Lodge is a bed & breakfast with creature comforts galore. Guests who love economy ought to check into a suite at the Dunedin Leisure Lodge. Backpackers on a budget can't go wrong at Manor House Backpackers.

Popular neighbourhoods in Dunedin

Otago Peninsula - nestled on the south and east coast is the region known as Otago Peninsula, which features cottage-style houses, boat houses, gorgeous lookout points, scenic coastline, and creatures like seals and sea lions.

The Octagon - also known as the city center of Dunedin, the Octagon is where all the action takes place, including trendy shopping, vibrant nightlife, small business offices, and restaurants.

North Dunedin - even though it's a ways away from the campus, North Dunedin is one of the most student-friendly neighborhoods, full of hidden gems when it comes to thrift stores and cheap eats.

Where to stay in popular areas of Dunedin

Most booked hotels in Dunedin

Larnach Lodge
Excellent (8.9, Excellent reviews)
$128+
The Victoria Hotel Dunedin
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
$119+
On Top Backpackers
Good (7.8, Good reviews)
$26+
Kingsgate Hotel Dunedin
Good (7.7, Good reviews)
$131+
Dunedin Holiday Park
Good (7.6, Good reviews)
$51+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Dunedin

Public Transportation

Public transport consists of buses and shuttles. There a couple of central routes run by the Otago Regional Council, and a single, one-way fare for adults is NZ$3.

Taxi

If you're getting around the city by taxi, there are plenty of local drivers available, without having to pre-book. Fares start at a flat rate of NZ$3 and it's NZ$1.74 per mile thereafter.

Car

Companies like Avis offer daily rentals. Fares vary but start, generally, at around NZ$37.57 per day.

The Cost of Living in Dunedin

Shopping Streets

The Octagon and the area to its immediate north and south is where most of the Dunedin shops are clustered. Prince Street and Stuart Street also have smaller boutique stores.

Groceries and Other

A quart of milk costs NZ$1.90 in Dunedin, while a dozen eggs costs approximately NZ$3.79.

Cheap meal
$20.95
A pair of jeans
$104.78
Single public transport ticket
$3.15
Cappuccino
$4.72