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Located at the head of the Otago Harbour on the South Islands southeast coast, Dunedin is famous for being one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. Also known for its Maori Heritage, Dunedin has a population of 128,000 and is home to rare New Zealand wildlife such as the yellow-eyed penguins, fur seals, sea lions, little blue penguins, and the Northern Royal Albatross.
A UNESCO designated City of Literature, Dunedin is an example of a small city that lives, breathes and connects through its people, its culture and its love of literature and is well known as a university town of excellence in research and learning, and a city where writers, books and literature thrive.
Surrounded by dramatic hills and at the foot of a long, picturesque harbour, Dunedin's heritage extends to a real castle, high on the hills of the Otago Peninsula. Larnach Castle is New Zealand's only castle and much-loved piece of Dunedin history. Built 1871 by William Larnach, merchant baron and politician, for his beloved first wife Eliza. Much loved by the locals, the castle boasts a 3,000 square foot ballroom and a tower offering sweeping views of the Otago Peninsula.
There is so much to see and do in Dunedin from the heritage buildings to the rare wildlife to the spectacular landscapes. Drive up the Otago Peninsula where the views are endless, and the beaches are beautifully rugged. Nestled at the foot of Taiaroa Head is the Royal Albatross, the only place in the world on the mainland where you can view Northern Royal Albatross in their natural habitat. On Dunedin’s doorstep, you will also find incredible wildlife including the world’s rarest penguin colonies. Discover the Little Blue Penguin, the world’s smallest penguin. See them in their natural habitat at Pilots Beach on the Otago Peninsula. After a day at sea, the penguins congregate in groups not far offshore where they often can be heard vocalising – usually short, loud squawks. Blue Penguin viewing tours are at dusk when penguins come ashore and make their way to their nests where they feed their chicks or roost. On the beaches, you will find the fur seals and sea lions just lazing around and enjoying their natural habitat.
Surrounded by water and farmland, Dunedin has access to some of the country’s best and freshest seafood, meat and vegetables. The sheer variety of dining options served in Dunedin complement the entire experience from restaurants offering contemporary New Zealand cuisine to those catering for authentic European tastes. Great little bars and craft breweries are also easy to find in Dunedin, each with its own distinct character reflecting the city's intriguing, humour-driven personality. Every Saturday morning, the Otago Farmers Market at the Dunedin Railway Station shows off the best of the region's produce and artisan foods.
No trip to Dunedin would be complete without seeing one of the wonders listed below.
Dunedin offers a wealth of wonderful sights and experiences. What better way to explore them than on a Wendy Wu tour?
11 days from $7,480pp
We all enjoy a good fact or two - here are a few useful ones about Dunedin: