DANNY DE HEKLocated in the heart of the stunning Otago region, the city of Dunedin attracts Kiwi and international tourists, students, tour groups and corporate visitors in large numbers each year – all keen to sample the unique lifestyle that is Dunedin city.

The unique combination of Dunedin’s Otago Peninsula and stunning wildlife, combined with the rich architectural heritage and active University student life, makes a visit to this colourful South Island location a ‘must do’ on any travel itinerary.

The city is nestled at the head of the spectacular Otago Harbour and is the ideal place to base yourself for your South Island touring, with both Queenstown and Christchurch within easy driving distance. Other popular areas within the Otago region include Port Chalmers, the Taieri Plains and Middlemarch, which is the gateway to the famous Otago Rail Trail.

Vibrant cafes, rare wildlife, ice-skating, fishing, tramping, kayaking, shopping, dining, clubbing, golf, brewery tours, chocolate factory and so much more, where do you start and how will you fit it all into your holiday?

Central Dunedin is located around the Octagon and boasts a huge range of cafes, restaurants, bars, designer boutique shops and galleries to keep any big-city dweller satisfied. With over 150 restaurants and vibrant cafes plus an exciting nightlife with sophisticated lounge bars, cocktail bars, lively student pubs, boutique casino and sports bars, there is plenty to choose from.

However, if your holiday plans are to escape from it all, there is truly some superb luxury accommodation retreats, health and beauty spas, tranquil park and garden walks and quiet scenic spots for you to relax and unwind.

Dunedin is also home to many top New Zealand and local events, including major fashion shows, sporting competitions, flower celebrations, concerts and festivals. However the most popular would be the Dunedin Summer Festival, which is held in February each year to celebrate the region and its lifestyle. The whole city joins in the celebrations which include a fabulous festival opening, crowning of the festival queen, the Octagon Timebuster, the Festival of Speed (an annual road race), Veteran Car Rally, Dragon Boat Racing, a race up the steepest street in the world and other exciting and fun festive celebrations.  ID Dunedin Fashion Show is another top annual event, as is the Otago University Orientation Week.

Other world-class attractions in the Otago region include some of New Zealand’s top eco-tourism, wildlife tours, Larnach Castle, Speights Brewery Tours, Cadbury World and a plethora of museums. There is a multitude of adventure and sports activities, including summer beach activities such as surfing, and top class winter ice-skating and curling – all within easy driving distance from the heart of Dunedin city.

Relaxing or exciting holiday activities are all easily accessible from central Dunedin, your only challenge is deciding what to do first! Between wildlife sightseeing cruises, shopping, extreme kayaking, clubbing, wine tasting and fine cuisine, there is always the sublime peace of the Otago Peninsula to escape to – it is the focal point for everything that is special and natural within the region.