TOP DUNEDIN ATTRACTIONS
Visit the most popular attractions and sights in Dunedin.
Attractions are free unless otherwise stated. Bookings may be required, and indicated where applicable.
Baldwin Street - The Steepest Street in the World
Baldwin Street, in North East Valley, is recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the steepest street in the world. The street runs up the northern side of Signal Hill, a prominent hill which overlooks the Otago Harbour. Baldwin Street has slopes of up to 1:2.86, meaning for every 2.86 metre of horizontal distance, there is a rise of 1 metre.
The street is well known for two annual events, one being the Baldwin Street Gutbuster. Held every summer since 1988, competitors of the Gutbuster race up the street and back down again, and as of 2008 the record is 1:56, set in 1998.
The other is the famous Jaffa Race, held since 2002, over 30,000 delicious Cadbury Jaffas are released at the top of the street and race to the bottom. Each Jaffa is numbered and sponsored by one person, and the first jaffa to reach the bottom wins it's sponsor prizes, and the proceeds from the race go to charity. The race is very popular and many people line Baldwin Street to witness it, and scoop up the jaffas as they roll down the hill!
Dunedin Botanic Garden & Aviary
Open 9am - 5pm, every day.
Located in the northern end of central Dunedin, the Dunedin Botanic Garden is New Zealand's first botanic garden and holds the status of Garden of International Significance. It has hill views from sunny lawns, more than 6,800 plant species and the song of wild native bellbirds, wood pigeons and tui.
The lower gardens' features include the Winter Garden, a heated Edwardian glass house, rose and herb gardens, a duck pond, band rotunda, and a Japanese garden. The lower gardens are also noted for their sculptures and statues, among them an ornate fountain, and a pair of statues depicting characters from the novel "Peter Pan". Near the entrance is a childrens' playground, and the gardens also has a large duck pond and a cafe.
At the top of the gardens, there is an aviary with over 200 birds, both exotic and native, including the New Zealand Kaka and the cheeky Kea.
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.
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 http://www.taieri.co.nz/bookings.htm
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.