The second-largest city on the South Island of New Zealand, and one of the main centers for the country as a whole, Dunedin sits at the head of Otago Harbor on a series of hills and valleys overlooking the bay. The name itself is old-world Gaelic for Edinburgh, and Dunedin a distinctive Scottish heritage derived from the old days. The city itself is a blending of historic and contemporary all at the same time, and it is impossible for you to forget that you are anywhere but in New Zealand. Combine that with the fact that Dunedin is host to the oldest university in New Zealand—the University of Otago—and you have a recipe that is just ripe for adventure, excitement, and a complete abandonment of your ties to the starting point of your journey.
The indigenous tribes have been dated back to around 1,100 AD by archeologists, and the entire Otago Peninsula is still a thriving spot for wildlife and forests. One of the best parts about traveling to New Zealand is that no matter where you go you will always be within walking distance of some type of amazing natural wonder, whether it be fjords, rivers, lakes, valleys, cliffs, coastline, mountains, plains, or otherwise. Dunedin is no different, and the hiking opportunities presented around the city are such that within 30 minutes’ walking distance you can be so completely surrounded by nature that you won’t even know a city is nearby. As far as Dunedin itself goes, the university vibe is present year-round, making this a popular destination for the younger generation of travelers who enjoy kicking back a pint with a group of students at one of the many taverns and pubs, or just enjoying a relaxing sip of coffee at the nearest café.
The center of the city - The Octagon - aply named after its physical shape has various attractions, restaurants, bars and accommodation within walking distance. It is a very safe and compact city and getting around should not be problem. As a coastal city Dunedin also boasts some very nice beaches and if you're lucky you may even run into the world's rarest penguin.
Whether hiking the hills above or simply soaking in the peaceful calm of Dunedin itself, this is one of New Zealand’s finest, and definitely worth the trip.
The nearby Larnach Castle is New Zealand's only Castle and open to Public.
The worlds only mainland colony of Royal Albatross are located nearby and provide visitors a unique experience to see these majestic birds.