Dunedin is an endearing city on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand, with classical architecture and Scottish charm. Once a hub of commercial activity in the gold rushes of the 1860s (which left a rich architectural legacy), Dunedin is now best known as a University City and prides itself on being New Zealand’s centre for learning, heritage, arts and culture. It is also the gateway to the diverse wildlife of the Otago Peninsula which is a popular tourist destination.
The city’s population is 125,000 during term time, when almost one fifth of residents are students. The University of Otago (New Zealand’s first University) and the Otago Polytechnic attract a student population of around 20,000 who live and study in a campus precinct close to the city centre, providing colour and diversity to city life.
Amongst Dunedin’s attractions are the fine examples of unspoiled Edwardian and Victorian architecture, the close proximity to the Otago Peninsula’s rare wildlife and stunning coastal beauty. The vibrant city centre is compact, with restaurants, cafes, hotels and accommodation within easy walking distance.
Dunedin’s growing reputation as a tourist destination is evidenced by an increasing number of cruise ship visits each year (89 cruise ships visited during the spring/summer of 2012-2013, with a similar number expected this year). Local attractions include Dunedin’s Victorian-era architecture, the grand historic houses Larnach Castle and Olveston, the wildlife attractions of the Otago Peninsula (the Royal Albatross Colony, the Yellow-eyed Penguin Conservation Reserve, fur seals and sea lions — all within the city limits), an “authentic” (prefabricated in Shanghai) late Ming/early Ching dynasty Chinese scholar’s garden, the historic 77km Taieri Gorge scenic railway, the Otago Museum with its tropical forest and butterfly house, a boutique casino, surf beaches, and chocolate factory and brewery tours.
Dunedin is close to the scenic Catlins Coast, and only 3½ hours drive from the popular lake and mountain resorts of Queenstown and Wanaka. A sneak peak at the beautiful South Island landscape can be found here.
Dunedin has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons; with frost and occasional snow during the winter.
It is best to dress in a comfortable amount of layers.
Average temperature ranges:
- Summer (December – February): 10° – 25°C
- Autumn (March – May): 13° – 17°C
- Winter (June – August): 3° – 10°C
- Spring (September – November): 12° – 17°C
Useful Dunedin Links
Travel Information – coming soon
Central Dunedin Map