Small City New Zealand: Dunedin

yellow-eyed-penguin in dunedinOften referred to as the Edinburgh of the South, Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. With miles of rugged coastline on its doorstep, and an impressive wildlife population, it’s a city well worth checking out. Here are a few of its highlights.

Wildlife
The Otago Peninsula, which stretches along the southern edge of the Otago Harbour is home to New Zealand fur seals and sea lions, yellow-eyed penguins, and the only mainland royal albatross colony in the world. Visit the observatory at the Royal Albatross Centre to view parents returning from sea to feed their chicks, or watch the yellow-eyed penguins go about their business at Penguin Place (the best viewing time is dusk, when the penguins return to their burrows from the sea).

Heritage
During the gold-rush days, Dunedin was New Zealand’s biggest city. The wealth and prosperity of that era is reflected in the city’s buildings and beautiful examples of Victorian architecture are dotted all over the city. You’ll likely recognise the Dunedin Railway Station – it’s the most photographed building in the country. Other fine examples include Dunedin Prison, the Old National Bank Building and Speight’s Brewery, where you can take a tour of the stills and sample some of their offerings.

Dunedin Street Art Trail
Experience 25+ pieces of artwork by local and international artists nestled between alleyways and showcased alongside historic buildings. A great way to discover some of the lesser-known parts of the city. Pick up a map from the Dunedin i-Site.

Baldwin Street
Listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the steepest street in the world, this makes for a short but strenuous outing!

Hit the beach
Dunedin has numerous beaches scattered along its coastline and around the Otago Harbour. Overlooked by popular cafes and bars, St Clair Beach is a popular hang-out spot and home to New Zealand’s most consistent surf break. At the southern end, you’ll find the St Clair Hot Salt Water Pool, an open-air public swimming pool nestled within rocks just metres from the ocean. For a more rugged experience, seek out Tunnel Beach, where a magnificent sandstone sea arch and man-made tunnel leads to a secluded beach surrounded by fossil filled cliffs.

Several of our cycle tours take in Dunedin, including the 6 day Self-Guided Catlins Coast Tour, the 7 Day Road Cycle Tour Queenstown to Dunedin (guided) and the new Twin Trails Tour, which incorporates the Alps 2 Ocean and Otago Rail Trail. Get in touch if you’d like info on any of these tours.

Have a great week,
Steve

Image: Yellow-eyed penguin by Brian Ralphs.