With its rich architectural beauty, history and its modern lifestyle, Dunedin is the perfect weekend getaway for exploration and discovery in your motorhome hire.
These are a few of our favourite things to do and see during the year:
All year round:
Just a short half hour drive in your campervan out of Dunedin is the Otago Peninsula, a beautiful culmination of ancient volcanic activity and erosion along the coastline of the South Island.
Take the day and a picnic lunch to enjoy the dramatic scenery, which is home to many endangered bird species including the Yellow Eyed Penguin and the Blue Penguins.
If you’re lucky enough, there are also regular appearances of seals, sea lions and sea elephants. While you are there, be sure to explore the coast and look out for the magnificent cliff faces such as ‘The Chasm’ and ‘Lovers Leap’.
To make the most of your trip, why not enjoy the Monarch Sea Cruise, with tours ranging from one hour to full day trips. Another way to see the peninsula at its best is in an ‘All Terrain Amphibious Vehicle’, The Argo.
Tours depart daily from 10:15am.
During your weekend, allow time to take in the historical and architectural beauty of the Dunedin town. The Edwardian designs tell stories of years gone by and are an insight into New Zealand’s colonial history.
A great place to start is the Larnach Castle, erected in 1871.
Here's amazing Larnach Castle just after the sun was setting. The team came up and slept here for a few nights in anticipation of the the early morning quadcopter Live-to-Facebook flight! We took a moment out of our planning to wander into the gardens with wine and chocolate to get some photos. It was a fun night for sure Here is more about that early morning drone-to-Facebook Live flight on my FB page at Facebook.com/TreyRatcliff
Spend your afternoon relaxing as you overlook the harbor with a high tea.
Another highlight is the Olveston House, which has a total of 35 rooms. The Edwardian design house was constructed in the 1900s for a merchant family and is available for you to step back in time and explore.
Lastly, the Dunedin Train Station is New Zealand’s most photographed building and named one the most beautiful railway stations in the world. It is well worth a visit to admire the architectural beauty.
Constructed in 1903, this Edwardian Baroque style station was the nation’s busiest station with up to 100 trains running through a day. Now the building is used for tourist trains and markets on the weekends.
The local’s tip:
As you meander through the streets of Dunedin, wander over to Baldwin Street, which according to the World Guinness Book of Records is the world’s steepest residential street.
Just 3.5km out of town you’ll find a street only 350m long, that has an average slope of more than 1.5.
Although only a short street, the walk takes around 10 minutes and you’ll be very glad to find a water fountain at the top. Rumor has it that walking backwards makes it easier!
Feel like Willy Wonka and learn all about the story behind the iconic Cadbury chocolate. Go and explore the sweet goodness led by your guide through the Cadbury World Sensory Lab.
The whole family can experience everything from the tempering, the essences used and you will also have the opportunity to make your very own Marvellous Creation. Yum!
Wild Dunedin Festival:
Fitting for the Wildlife capital of New Zealand, in April Dunedin held their first annual Wild Dunedin Festival to celebrate the conservation of their eco system.
Activities include open days, children’s programmes, conservation events, guided tours, exhibitions and public talks. Why not take the whole weekend to enjoy the festivities and then to explore the beauty of the surrounding land.
If you like the idea of a winter getaway in your campervan hire, each June thousands gather in Dunedin to celebrate the longest night of the year and create a winter wonderland in the town.
The festivities include the lantern parade with performances and wonderful costumes, as well as markets, fireworks and live music.
There is something for everyone at the Midwinter Carnival, so make sure come rugged up so that you can enjoy all that is on offer.
Otago Festival of the Arts:
Running from September 30th to October 9th The Otago Festival of the Arts brings together artists and performers from all genres to celebrate the arts and culture of the South.
With cabaret style circus performances, dramatic readings, musical acts, plays, choirs and dance, the festival offers a wide variety of expressions.
The event culminates in the Vogel St Street Party, bringing together people from all walks of life and expression.