ARTS AND CULTURE
Experience Dunedin's architecture, art and history.
Attractions are free unless otherwise stated. Bookings may be required, and indicated where applicable.
Open 10am - 5pm, every day.
Boasting one of the largest collections in New Zealand with long-term gallery displays and an interactive science centre. The museum has several permanent exhibits including;
Tangata Whenua - learn about maori life and mythology
Southern Land, Southern People - all about the culture and character of the Southern Region
Nature - discover Otago's unique wildlife including birds, insects, seals and penguins
Discovery World - an interactive science exhibit, a hit with the kids. Including activities such as a warp mirror, giant foot piano, a plasma room or you can even be in a huge bubble!
The museum is also home to the Tropical Forest, a live exotic butterfly experience.
Enter a rainforest packed with tropical life - the Tropical Forest gives you and up close encounter with hundreds of live exotic butterflies, as well as birds, fish, turtles and geckos.
The forest is also home to a range of plants, including orchids and banana trees.
View the forest from above on the glass swing bridge, or on the forest floor amongst the trees.
This three-level live butterfly experience is the only one of it's kind in Australasia and is always warm and humid, kept at around 28°C and 75% humidity making it Dunedin's hottest attraction!
It is free to browse the main museum, there is a charge to get in to Discovery World and the Tropical Forest.
Open 9.30am - 5pm, every day. Bookings recommended.
The Jacobean style, grace and grandeur of Olveston reveals a glimpse of a lifestyle enjoyed by David Theomin, a Dunedin businessman and philanthropist.
Designed by London architect, Sir Ernest George, this magnificent home was built between 1904 and 1906, and is distinguised by a wealth of decorative detail, elaborate furnishings, fire places and stained glass windows.
David Theomin and his family travelled extensively, and their former home is decorated with their treasures, from bronze, cloisonne and ivory from Japan to Chinese jade and ceramics, representing Theomin's interest in decorative art from East Asia.
240 paintings and graphics grace the walls of the 35 rooms of Olveston, and the building is set on an acre of beautiful garden.
The Theomin's were the only family to live in Olveston and the house and its contents were bequeathed to the city in 1966 by David Theomin's daughter Dorothy Theomin (1888-1966).
Tours commence at 9.30 and 10.45 am, 12 noon, 1.30, 2.45 and 4 pm.
NZ Seniors, YHA, backpackers, tertiary students: $16.50.
To book online, go to http://www.olveston.co.nz/book
Dunedin Public Art Gallery
Open 10am - 5pm, every day.
The gallery is home to a significant collection of New Zealand artworks, as well as major holdings of historical European art, Japanese prints, and decorative art.
The gallery features works by many renowned artists such as Turner, Gainsborough, Claude and internationally acclaimed Dunedin artist Frances Hodgkins. The only Monet in a New Zealand collection also resides at the gallery.
Admission is free of charge.
Dunedin Railway Station
Open 8am - 7pm, every day.
A beautifully restored architectural masterpiece, the Dunedin Railway Station is regarded as the most photographed building in New Zealand and the jewel in the crown of New Zealand Railways.
Built between 1903 and 1906, the Dunedin Railway Station was designed in the fashionable, desirable and highly expensive Edwardian Baroque style. The station is constructed from dark basalt from Kokonga in the Strath-Taieri with lighter Oamaru stone facings, giving it the contrast of light and dark.
In it's early days, the station was New Zealand's busiest, with up to 100 trains per day, including suburban services to and from Mosgiel and Port Chalmers, and also to Palmerston, Central Otago, Invercargill and Christchurch.
Nowadays, with the decrease in passenger rail traffic, the station is now used for many purposes. It is still the city's railway station, and caters for the Taieri Gorge train; a scenic journey to Pukerangi and Middlemarch through ten tunnels and crossing numerous viaducts. The Silver Fern Rail Car also operates from the Dunedin Railway Station, and runs every day there is a Cruise Ship in Port. The Rail Car runs from the station, to Waitati and back, around a 40-45 minute round trip through beautiful scenery.
Most of the ground floor is used as a restaurant, as well as the ticketing office and main foyer, and the upper floor is used by the Otago Art Society and is also home to the NZ Sports Hall of Fame.
Entry to the Train Station is free of charge, but there is an admission fare for both the Taieri Gorge train and the Silver Fern Rail Car, and booking is recommended for the Taieri Gorge. You can find out more information and book at
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
Open 10am - 5pm, every day.
Learn about the people who shaped New Zealand's first great city, including exhibits on culture, technology, art, fashion and transport. Also Dunedin's famous Locomotive, "Josephine".
Opened in 1908, the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum gives you an insight into the people and how their culture, character, technology and transport shaped New Zealand's first great city - Otago.
The museum is housed in the former New Zealand Rail Road Transport building, with the recently completed entrance foyer.
The museum underwent extensive renovations during 2011 and 2012, and reopened in December 2012 with the new name, Toitu Otago Settlers Museum.
The renovations included the addition of a main entrance, gift shop and cafe to the northern end of the former building and increased exhibition size. A separate structure between the new foyer and the Dunedin Railway Station houses JA1274, better known as "Josephine"; it is the oldest preserved steam locomotive in New Zealand, dating from 1872, it became New Zealand's first preserved locomotive in the 1920's.
The displays in the museum tell the story of Dunedin and it's surrounding districts chronologically from the arrival of the first Maori settlers up to the present population, as well as pre-European times, the Otago Gold Rush and the end of the 19th century, through exhibits and interactive computer displays.
The displays in the southern end of the building, the former bus depot, mainly focus on transport heritage, digital technology and the creative and broadcasting history.
Admission is free, charges may apply to some special exhibits.