DANNY DE HEKNew Zealand’s oldest city is rich in culture and also well known for its Scottish heritage, famous landmarks and unique wildlife.

The City of Dunedin is located on the South East Coast of the South Island and is the heart of the Otago region. The city boasts a unique location at the head of the spectacular Otago Harbour, offering a diverse range of coastal attractions and activities.

Renowned for unique attractions such as a castle and fabulous coastal wildlife, Dunedin offers more then just nature activities and historic buildings! If self-pampering and relaxing is more your holiday style, you will find plenty to keep you relaxed and satisfied in this fabulous area of the Otago region.

From viewing the world’s rarest penguins to top surfing, windsurfing, mountain biking to open sea kayaking, horse trekking, hunting, fishing and ice skating – if you want to awaken the body and mind and take your breath away, there is plenty to choose from in Dunedin.

However, if your holiday plans are more of the ‘sedate’ kind, then don’t despair as there is plenty of softer tourism options, including fabulous health and beauty spa’s, rejuvenating nature walks, stunning golf courses, garden tours, shopping, cultural experiences, picturesque boat cruises, art galleries and much more.

With so much to see and do in this tourist playground I suggest you take a visit to the Dunedin Visitor Information Centre!

However, for a general overview of the more renowned and ‘must do’ Dunedin activities, I have personally selected…

For the nature lovers you have hit the jackpot when you visit the Otago Peninsula, as this is most definitely one of the best eco-tourism spots in the world! Once you have visited Dunedin you will understand why it is referred as the ‘wildlife capital of New Zealand’. The award winning Elm Wildlife Tours is a Qualmark Endorsed Visitor Activity and offers guided tours on the Otago Peninsula so you can experience ‘up close’ some of the world’s rarest wildlife, including Royal Albatross, sea lions, blue penguins, New Zealand fur seals and yellow-eyed penguins. Monarch Wildlife Cruises and Tours is another ‘must mention’ Qualmark endorsed activity with a range of tours available, including a 1-hour cruise, half-day cruise/coach tour or a full day premier Otago Peninsula Package.

Other top wildlife attractions on the Otago Peninsula include Penguin Place, which is home to the Yellow-eyed Penguin Conservation Reserve and offers a 90-minute guided tour of these awesome birds. Staying on the bird theme, you can’t visit Dunedin without going to the impressive Royal Albatross Centre to view the breath-taking and fascinating world of these magnificent birds.

Art enthusiasts will enjoy the Dunedin Public Art Gallery that is located in the heart of the city and is considered one of the finest art galleries in the country, boasting an impressive collection of historical and innovative contemporary works. There is also a terrific Otago Arts Trail.

Dunedin is home to some great museums, including the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame located within the historic Dunedin Railway Station and is the only national sports museum of its kind in New Zealand. Another unique museum in the same vicinity is the Otago Settlers Museum, a great place to enjoy Dunedin’s history. On the subject of Dunedin history, with so many fine Victorian and Edwardian buildings within the Otago region you don’t have to look far to see some fabulous building heritage. However, a ‘must do’ for holiday-makers in Dunedin is a visit to New Zealand’s only castle – Larnach Castle.

Dunedin hasn’t forgotten the food and drink lovers either! A chocoholics dream waits at Cadbury World! The ultimate chocolate tour will delight your tastebuds as you take a fun-filled guided Chocolate Factory Tour, while a Speights Brewery Heritage Tour offers a fascinating 90-minute tour of a working brewery. Of course a tour wouldn’t be complete without the chance to taste the range of beers brewed by Speights and served in their private Heritage Bar.

Dunedin offers the visitor a diverse range of things to see and do, all designed to suit your time frame, interests and budget!