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New Zealand Trade Manual has been designed with travel industry professionals in mind.
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Image: Tourism New Zealand, photo by Kieran Scott

A lion stands guard over Larnach Castle in Dunedin. Otago offers a blend of natural and human heritage; world-class wildlife encounters on the coast and beautiful historic architecture in the towns and cities.

This is a region of remarkable natural beauty overlaid with a fascinating cultural history. Rich with elegant historic architecture, this region is the perfect place to explore New Zealand’s colourful heritage. Yet this is only part of the story. Historic architecture forms an unforgettable backdrop to a vibrant modern culture, known for its artists and designers, and world-renowned wildlife experiences in a stunningly rugged landscape.


Download the Dunedin & Otago section from New Zealand Trade Manual 2013

Dunedin & Otago (from New Zealand Trade Manual 2013) (1578)

Highlights

Historic buildings Dunedin is one of the Southern Hemisphere’s best preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities while Oamaru is known for whitestone buildings. In Central Otago visitors can explore Cromwell. Penguin encounters In Oamaru, you can watch Little Blue Penguins come ashore each evening – right on the town’s doorstep. Otago Harbour and Peninsula From New Zealand Fur Seals to Yellow-eyed Penguins (the world’s rarest), the variety of the Otago Harbour’s wildlife on Dunedin’s doorstep is simply astonishing. David Bellamy called the peninsula the world’s finest example of eco-tourism. Moeraki Boulders The Moeraki Boulders are a bizarre sight – huge spherical boulders scattered across a sandy beach on the Otago coast. Otago Central Rail Trail What began life as a rail link from Dunedin to the goldfields of Central Otago has become a remarkable 150-kilometre walking or cycling trail through stunning scenery. Taieri Gorge Railway Departing from Dunedin’s Gothic-style railway station, this historic train journey into the rugged Taieri Gorge features viaducts and tunnels dating back to 1879.

Destinations 

Dunedin Main city in Otago, famous for its heritage architecture and wildlife. Oamaru Known for colonial whitestone architecture and Blue Penguins. Moeraki Fishing village known for its huge boulders. Portobello Tiny village on the Otago Peninsula. Alexandra Commercial centre of Central Otago, rich with gold-mining history. Cromwell Famous for summertime stone fruits and its recreated ‘Old Town’. Ranfurly Rural Art Deco oasis and main town of the Maniototo. Naseby Base for wintertime curling competitions. Middlemarch Conclusion of the Otago Central Rail Trail and the Taieri Gorge Railway.

Getting There and Around

Air Dunedin Airport, 30 minutes from the city, offers domestic flights to Auckland, Wellington, Palmerston North and Christchurch with Air New Zealand. Trans-Tasman flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are available as well. Road Dunedin is 5 hours, 10 minutes from Christchurch. Oamaru is 3 hours, 30 minutes from Christchurch. Cromwell, in Central Otago, is 5 hours, 50 minutes from Christchurch, 3 hours, 10 minutes from Dunedin, and 55 minutes from Queenstown. Coaches service the region. Christchurch to Dunedin [362 km; 5 hrs, 10 min] Christchurch to Oamaru [247 km; 3 hrs, 30 min] Oamaru to Dunedin [115 km; 1 hr, 40 min] Dunedin to Cromwell [221 km; 3 hrs, 10 min] Cromwell to Queenstown [62 km; 55 min]Rail The Taieri Gorge Railway connects Dunedin and Middlemarch.

Making the Sale

  • Dunedin and Oamaru are fascinating places offering a quality range of heritage and wildlife activities.
  • Central Otago is a rugged and beautiful landscape dotted with small towns.
  • Dunedin is serviced by regular flights to and from other New Zealand destinations, but be aware that the airport is 30 minutes from the city.
  • The Otago Central Rail Trail is New Zealand’s most popular cycle trail and well worth trying.

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