people here are Scots. They stopped here on their way to heaven, thinking
they had arrived."
Mark Twain 1895
Dunedin is old
Gaelic for Edinburgh and was once the largest city in New Zealand. Its
grand history can be seen in the marvelous 19th Century buildings today.
It's a city that has a thriving student and arts culture with many bars,
cafés restaurant and theatre options.
Peninsula has an abundance of wildlife seldom seen so close to a city
- fur seals, the rare yellow-eyed penguin, colonies of cormorants and
the mighty albatross.
Island is the New Zealand South Island's south island. It isn't a place
you just stumble across - you have to go out of your way to get there.
It's an hour's ferry ride from the isolated town of Invercargill to
the even more isolated town of Oban. About three hundred people live
in Oban with another eighty or so residents scattered along the coast.
Fishing is the number
one industry with tourism a close second, but it can get chilly (the
next stop south is Antarctica!). The temperatures in summer only average
15 degrees Celsius and most of the visitors keep moving to keep warm.
There are more churches than pubs, and more sheep than people and it's
one of those rare places where everyone knows everyone and no-one locks
their doors. It's also a great spot for walking and watching bird life.
There are no movie theatres, malls or amusement centres but if you want
natural beauty, a total unwind and a quite time with a small, locals
community - it's perfect.
See and Do
Dunedin's excellent Public Art Gallery.
- Two of the city's
stately homes are 15 minutes from the city. Glenfalloch is set in
12 hectares of woodland gardens and Larnach castle has battlements,
a fairytale ballroom, beautiful carved ceilings and a tragic history.
The Castle Ghost may even appear for you.
- Take a day trip
to the vintage Taieri Gorge Limited train from Dunedin's grand Renaissance
style station through the rugged scenery of Taieri Gorge.
- Drop into Speight's
Brewery for a fine southern ale.
- Private gardens
are open all year as is the excellent Botanic Garden and the Rhododendron
Festival is in October.
- Join the locals
and throw a line into Dunedin Harbour from the wharf and hope for
a salmon to bite.
- Drive 70km north
to the beach between the seaside villages of Moeraki and Hampden.
Strewn across the beach are huge, perfectly round giant marbles (some
are 3 metres in circumference and weigh several tonnes). They formed
naturally over four million years.
- The Catlins
Coast is a mysterious and desolately beautiful place and is home to
the hoiho (extremely rare yellow-eyed penguin). At Curio Bay you can
see the smallest and rarest of marine mammals, Hector's dolphin.
- St Clair offers
the most consistent surfing in New Zealand.
- Take the Goldfields
Heritage Highway to discover charming, historic villages.
- The best brown
trout fishing is around the small town of Gore on the Mataura River.
- Gourmets consider
the oysters from Bluff as the best in the world.
- Go kiwi spotting
on Stewart Island - around 20,000 of the little flightless bird live
- Walk the stunning
Rakiura Track - one of New Zealand's Great Walks.
- Explore the
island by kayak or, for a fun and informative tour, join up with Sam
Sampson and Billy the Bus.
Itinerary 5 days
(Note: this is only
a sample - once you tell us your areas of interest, we will construct
a personal, suggested itinerary for you.)
- Stroll the city
and take on Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world (gradient
to 1 in 2.9).
- To the Otago
Peninsula to see the yellow-eyed penguins and royal albatross colonies.
- Visit Lanarch
Castle and Glenfalloch Gardens.
- Take the scenic
railway trip along the Taieri Gorge.
- Drive 1 hour
drive north to the incredible Moeraki Boulders.
- Relax in a charming
old-fashioned pub over a locally brewed ale.
- Take the southern
scenic route towards Invercargill allowing the whole day to explore
the Catlins Coast (time your visit for low tide so you can explore
the Cathedral Caves and blowholes.
- Overnight at
a local farmstay.
- Spend the day
exploring Stewart Island. Take a 20 minute flight from Invercargill
or park the car at Bluff and take the ferry (1 hour).
- Enjoy a bush
walk or bus tour.
- Stay overnight
to go on a kiwi spotting expedition.
- Visit Invercargill's
Anderson Park Art gallery or the museum to see New Zealand's dinosaur
descendent, the tuatara.
- Take a scenic
drive to trout fishing country or along the southern coast towards
an early start to connect to the full day Waiaurahiri Wilderness Jet
tour across Lake Hauroko to the south coast.
Click below for a choice of accommodation options in these regions:
7 3876 4644
7 3876 4645