A travel guide to Dunedin, New Zealand providing Dunedin tourism and travel information with hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, shopping, tours and things to do.
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Dunedin travel guide


Second largest city in the South Island and capital of the Otago region, Dunedin sprawls around the head of bustling Otago Harbor on the southeast coast. Otago Harbor was a popular whaling ground long before the first European whaling station was officially established at the Maori village of Otakou. Dunedin, with its well-planned city center, hilly suburbs and harbor views, Victorian-style stone buildings decorated with spires and turrets, stately homes, historic statues and memorials, albatross and penguin colonies, and well-kept parks and flower gardens, the self-proclaimed "Rhododendron City of the South Island" and "Gateway to Otago" has plenty of living history, lots to see and do, and a distinct appeal all its own. 

The attractive eight-sided garden area Octagon is a great place to people-watch and the place to enjoy one of Dunedin’s unique free attractions: a musical fountain! It’s best appreciated after dark to get the full effect of the colored lights and water effects. Situated around the Octagon, find the Tourist Information Centre, Civic Centre offices, Regent Theatre, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, and one block back, the Town Hall, Public Library, and Post Office. The NZTP Travel Office is located on Princes St., two blocks away on the south side of the Octagon.

Art aficionados and history buffs can spend hours wandering around enormous Otago Museum with its outstanding collection of Polynesiana, halls on Melanesia, the Maori culture, furniture and ceramics, lions and primates, marine life, world civilizations and a maritime hall. If you only have an hour or so to explore, pick up the handy "An Hour of Your Time" brochure at the entrance – it directs you to all the highlights. 

Several of the area’s best attractions are located along the narrow scenic Otago Pennsula, northeast of the city center. Other than the few commercial attractions, the Peninsula is an enjoyable place to wander around for a day - for views, spectacular beaches and towering cliffs, farmland separated by centuries-old stone walls, and birdwatching. At Taiaroa head, the northeast tip, the albatross colony and a beach full of yellow-eyed penguins are two Dunedin sights that shouldn’t be missed. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to live in a castle, plan to spend some time experiencing Larnach Castle, a genuine castle built in 1870 on thirty-five acres of lush, rolling grounds. For a romantic getaway, consider spending a night or two at Larnach Castle. After everyone else leaves, the castle and grounds become yours to explore at leisure. 

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