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.

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 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 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.

Directory

Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony

See the world’s smallest penguins in their natural environment. Our Blue Penguin Colony is close to town under the cliffs along the historic harbour foreshore. During the day you can…

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Taieri Gorge Railway

All aboard one of Dunedin’s top attractions and one of the world’s great train trips! Departs daily from Dunedin into the spectacular narrow and exhilarating Taieri Gorge. This is an…

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Penguin Place

Penguin Place is a private conservation reserve dedicated to helping save the endangered Yellow Eyed Penguin. Visit a working conservation programme and experience natural activity at close range through a…

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Dunedin Casino

Located in the Southern Cross Hotel, Dunedin Casino offers visitors an unparalleled entertainment experience. Try your luck at gaming or enjoy a delectable meal and soak up the elegant surroundings.…

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Dunedin Botanic Gardens

It is home to over 14,000 plant species, native bush walks, the Wintergarden Glasshouse, Alpine House and stunning city vistas. Take a walking or Crest Train Tour! Established in 1863,…

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Cadbury World

‘Dunedin’s tastiest tourist attraction!’ Cadbury World is a colourful, educational chocolate experience that is fun for all ages! Full and shortened tours include entry to the visitor centre, delicious liquid…

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Olivers Central Otago

Unique boutique accommodation located in Clyde’s historic precinct. Eleven en suite rooms superbly blend the old with the new in a beautifully restored series of heritage buildings. Daily breakfast is…

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Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tour

Enjoy the best the Otago Peninsula has to offer with this multi New Zealand Tourism Award-winning company. Unrivalled and unique viewing of wildlife in its natural and inaccessible environment –…

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