Dunedin?

Alright, blog people – I need suggestions for things to do in Dunedin!

Did you know that even though I live in New Zealand and even though my Google Maps is set for NZ settings, the first “Dunedin” that pops up when I do a search is “Dunedin, Florida”?  I’m sure that it’s much warmer there, but it’s not where I want to go!

Anyway… Dunedin, the 2nd largest city in the South Island of New Zealand!  It would be great if they were child-friendly & pedestrian friendly (we’ll be staying at a hotel on George Street).  We’ll likely have a car for part of our stay, but not all of it.

Yes, I know that we’re heading down there in winter and that it will be cold, but I don’t care.  Chris needs to do some work at the University of Otago, and this will be my first time to the South Island.  Pretty sad that it’s taken this long, and I could list all of the reasons excuses for that, but I won’t.  All I’ll say is that it’s better late than never.

Random Bit of Knowledge: When we get to Dunedin, it’ll be the closest that I’ve ever been to the South Pole – only a scant 4,900km (3,050 miles) away!

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I do have a few things that were suggested to me, some that are near the uni and some that aren’t.  Of all of them, my top choices (in no particular order) are:

Cadbury World

Yes, Cadbury World as in Cadbury chocolate.  Don’t judge me.  You know you wish you were going, too!

Dunedin Botanic Garden

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It may be a bit cold here, but they do have a glassed-in winter garden and it’s not too far from where we’ll be staying.

Otago Museum

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I’m pretty keen to check out the tropical forest inside the museum.  I first thought that I’d misread the information – a tropical forest inside the museum?  But that looks to be case, complete with a butterfly house (pictured above).  I’m pretty sure that we’ll check this out at some point.

Penguin Place

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Chris has said several times that he “wants to see the penguins”, so of course we have to go to the penguin place!  We’ll need to hire a car for this one, though, as it’s a bit removed from the city centre.  The only thing is, it’s a 1-hour walking tour of the place and I’m not sure if they allow strollers.  We do have a mei-tai carrier, but I don’t know how well Joe will do in that for an hour.  We may just try to find penguins elsewhere.

Otago Peninsula Walks

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I’m not sure how possible these will be with a stroller, so if you have any input, that would be much appreciated.  We may need to do the backpack carrier… or not do them at all if it’s not good weather/good walking with a baby.  We’ll see!

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9 comments

  1. Laura says:

    So I guess my comment never posted, but I wanted to say how fun those places look!

    I wish I could offer more insight into your travel plans but I’ve never been to Dunedin let alone NZ! But what fun to visit the butterfly gardens and Penguin Place! As much as Ryder adores penguins I wish I could take him. Joe will have the best time 🙂

  2. Priscilla says:

    I’ve been to Dunedin several times, but never done any of the touristy things ha 🙂 well, i’ve walked around the main streets and checked out the shops etc. Would like to go to Larnach Castle and out to the peninsula sometime to see the penguins etc. The Catlins (a couple hours south) looks really beautiful 🙂

  3. Christine says:

    Just read the other comments… nothing more to add 🙂 We lived in Dunedin for 6 years and I think all the ideas listed are great!

    I do have to say that staying at a hotel on George St will be fantastic, you will be on the flat within walking distance to “town” and the University. The only time you will hit hills will be if you go further away from town!

    It’s a lovely lovely city, we loved living there… except for the cold! It’s a cold that just hits you right down to the bones! Take lots and lots of warm clothing! hehe 🙂

    Enjoy exploring!!!

  4. Lucy says:

    As a Dunedin local can I suggest skipping the cadbury tour. Its over priced and pretty average. Definitely go out to the penninsula. Also the butterfly house at the museum is awesome and its always super warm in there so good if the days are a bit cold or if it rains. And don’t forget to see the train station.

  5. Sarah says:

    Love it! It’s absolutely beautiful and the ‘Otago Peninsula’ is stunning. I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time!

  6. Ange says:

    Most of the things I’d suggest have already been mentioned 🙂 But here are some insider tips:
    * If you go to the Botanic Garden, get free bags of grain from the info centre by the cafe – they prefer you not to feed the ducks bread.
    * There are plenty of spots along the peninsula where you can see seals and penguins for free! Sandfly Bay is a great spot for this, but the dunes are STEEP!
    * The Albatross Colony is expensive, so check beforehand as to whether you’re likely to see much, otherwise it can be a waste of time.
    * The Aquarium (in Portobello, on the peninsula) is fun for little kids – especially the touch pools.
    * The tropical rainforest/Butterfly House at the museum is fantastic (the museum is free, but I think the rainforest is about $20/adult); there’s also an animal attic and a great little gift shop with toys for the kids to play with.
    * It’s likely to be cold but dry – crisp, sunny days 🙂

  7. Wilm says:

    My sister lives in Dunedin and sent me this list of things to do in Dunedin for a friend:

    Get hold of book on walks in Dunedin, FROM SEA TO SILVER PEAKS. Lots of nice walks, some short ones in the city – bushy type walks. Nice. Comprehensive descriptions – length, time taken, degree of difficulty etc.

    Bethunes Gully also – in city, end of North East Valley. Lovely picnic spot with BBQ facilities

    Baldwin Street – the world’s steepest street. Everyone should climb to the top to say they have. North East Valley

    Cadbury Factory tour

    Speights Brewery tour

    Butterfly Place in the museum – tropical rain forest inside the museum, 3 levels, different varietyies of butterflies fly around you, tropical trees, plants. Ponds with turtles and fish. A glass window in the wall with live tarantulas in there. Three levels with a little swingbridge across at the top level. Very hot, but lovely.

    Moana Pool great for a day out. Wave pool, waterslide, lane swimming, diving pools, etc etc.

    St Clair Salt water pool – outdoor at the beach – proper swimming pool – nice to swim in. The sea is just over the wall. Surfers out there.

    Drive up Mount Cargill where the TV mast is – fabulous views of the city and peninsula – everywhere really. You can drive right up to the top past the carpark. Road is gravel – not a tourist destination but it should be for the view. I suggest you don’t climb the tower.

    Botanic gardens in city – aviary up the top, nice gardens.

    Long Beach is nice place for picnic – ½ hour drive from town.

    Peninsula – lots of stuff to do there: Penguin Place, Albatrosses – walk to the Pyramids (probably find stuff about this on the Net) This is a flat walk through farmland to some basalt outcrops that look like pyramids. You can go on for another 20 minutes to Victory Beach.

    Brighton Beach – good place for children.

    Outram Bridge – lovely there – you can sit on the riverside and swim in the river, have a picnic. McArthur’s Berry farm nearby where you can get fresh fruit icecreams.

    Picnic spot by river on the Waipori Road. Drive a few k’s, cross a bridge then immediate left. Nice there.

    Lake Mahinerangi – way further up the Waipori Road.

    Not sure if you will have a car to use in Dunedin – if you don’t then some of the ideas won’t be so good.

    I love going down the Peninsula when I’m in Dunedin – beautiful drive down there. Cadbury tour is good (make sure you prebook it if you are going in the school holiday time). Penguin Place is neat – but check if it’s a good time of the year to see penguins!

  8. Rebecca says:

    Ohmigod, I LOVE DUNNERS!!! Probably my favourite “bigger” town in NZ. As long as you don’t stay on a hill, you can walk everywhere with a baby. Well, you’ll need a car to get out on the peninsula. And over to Baldwin Street, which is supposedly the steepest street in the world. A hearty walk and so typically New Zealand in making a mountain out of a molehill.
    Just walking over to the train station is really cool too. Plus all the museums, it’s such a great town!

    Have a great time!

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