Dunedin is known as the Edinburgh of the South and is proud of its Scots heritage. This university town is named from the old Gaelic for Edinburgh and is the second-largest city on the South Island of New Zealand and famous for having one of the ugliest, Victorian railway stations in the world.
Dunedin has as its heart a statue of the poet Robbie Burns, and many of its streets carry the same name as streets in Edinburgh. It was built in a time before the car was king, when ships and railways moved people around efficiently. It is built in a natural harbour on a relatively small area of flat land surrounded by steep hillsides. Some of its streets are steep: Baldwin Street is claimed as being the steepest street in the southern hemisphere, a claim which is celebrated during the annual chocolate festival by rolling more than 15,000 chocolate coated, orange flavoured sweets down from the top of it. It has a relatively mild summer, while in winter the hill suburbs will get cold enough for snow several days a year and the entire city will close down once or twice a year due to snowfall settling. The real issue during winter is black ice on the steep streets surrounding the city.
Dunedin's University of Otago, established in 1869, is the oldest university in New Zealand. It is the South Island's second largest employer, and by far the biggest contributor to the Dunedin economy. Dunedin is a University Town rather than just a town with a university. The students make up over a tenth of the population. A consequence of this is that the city is significantly quieter during the university summer holiday period (approx November to February), and that accommodation may be harder to find or more expensive during university graduations, etc.
Dunedinites (the Dunedin people) are generally friendly, seemingly more friendly than in the bigger cities of NZ (and the bigger cities anywhere else in the world).
Dunedin airport is 30km (19 mi) out of town on the nearest piece of flat land that was big enough for the runway. Taxis and shuttle buses operate from just outside the terminal and are usually there when flights arrive. The fare for a shared shuttle is around $18-25 and for $50-80 for a taxi to Dunedin. All of the major rental car operators also serve the airport.
The railway station is close to the centre of town. Unfortunately there is no longer a regular long distance passenger train service, but some people arrive in the city by the local scenic trains. These are operated by the Taieri Gorge Railway, which runs out as far as Middlemarch. A connecting bus service to Queenstown can be arranged.
State Highway 1 passes through Dunedin. Allow 4 hours 30 minutes travel from Christchurch and 2h30 from Invercargill. Be sure to get a good detailed map as soon as you can. Most hostels have very detailed maps for the CBD with reasonable detail for the outlying areas. Dunedin's urban roads can be very confusing with lots of one way streets, circles, and tight and winding hill routes.
There are several daily services from Christchurch, Invercargill, Wanaka and Queenstown. The major operators are InterCity , Atomic Shuttles, Wanaka-Connection and Knightrider. (which offers an overnight service from Christchurch to Invercargill via Dunedin). nakedbus.com  has competive fares. The trip from (or to) Christchurch takes about 6.5 hours.
The Dunedin Bus Service is fairly average but cheap and does get you around. The main line service, St Clair-Normanby, runs every 15 minutes and is handy to about a dozen of the City's attractions. Most other routes are every 30-40 minutes. Some of the buses are not too attractive looking, but they are being added to by cast-off wheelchair friendly buses from other cities. The blue/gold coloured buses operated by Citibus  and the beige/dark red buses operated by Passenger Transport share all the town routes. Most drivers from either company will tell you where to find the right bus if you ask nicely, or you can ask the Otago Regional Council  or call 0800 474 082 free from a cell phone, but only during office hours.
The Peninsula bus route from the Museum is a good way to see the Peninsula, unless you're terrified by oncoming traffic: in places the full sized buses are wider than the lanes they travel in. The traffic is generally used to this and travels very cautiously. All Buses on the Peninsula service are Wheelchair Friendly.
There is a recycling centre down by the north-east end of the docks (in Wickliffe Street) which generally has one or two reasonable-condition bicycles lying about for $10 apiece. Carefully add air (there's a service station due west back over the bridge) and oil and you're set to go. You will also need a skid-lid/stack-hat/helmet, which are generally unavailable second-hand for liability reasons, but can be had new for $20 from the KMart in Meridian, between George Street and Filleul Street. There is another recycling shop called "The Recover Store" at the Dunedin Landfill on Brighton Road, Green Island.
Dunedin's hills are extremely steep but the town centre is reasonably flat There is an excellent flat ride out along the western shore of the Otago Peninsula to Harington Point, although it's a narrow road shared by lots of tour buses. A cycle track runs along of the industrial eastern shore of the harbour, about half way to Port Chalmers (busy highway the rest of the way).
If you like a bit of a hill-climb, ride out along North Road to the Organ Pipes, a collection of rapidly-cooled rocks which have self-formed into organ-pipe-like structures. The walk along a bush track up to the Pipes themselves is very scenic and well attended by small, harmless wildlife. The ride up along the ridge of the Peninsula to Lanarch Castle is also good high-energy exercise.
If you like pushing a bike up a hill because it's too steep, dive off North Road onto Norwood Street, or cross to the east side of the Peninsula, or head straight up the hill behind The Octagon past the Beverly-Begg Observatory to suburbs with a view like Roslyn.
There are no suburban trains.
The Taeri Gorge Railway  tel +64 3 477-4449 is a scenic tourist trip, ending at a small village called Middlemarch. Take your camera and lots of memory. The same company runs trips on the old Christchurch line as far as Palmerston, about 2 hours away. These go about twice a week in the summer.
Cadbury World, 280 Cumberland St. Take a guided tour of the Cadbury Chocolate Factory, a factory that accounts for more that 75% of New Zealand's chocolate production. Daily tours running every half hour 09:00-15:30, with hours extended to 19:00 during the summer. Closed 25-26 Dec, 1 Jan and New Year's Holiday. The tours cost $20 for adults and take about 60 minutes. You get free samples, but don't expect to see too much from the actual factory.
Robert Burns' statue in the Octagon.
Speights Brewery, 200 Rattray St, email@example.com, . Shop hours: M-Th 09:30-19:00, F-Su 09:30-17:00. Tours daily at 1000, 12:00, 14:00. Closed Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Sunday, and shortened hours on ANZAC day. Children under 15 require adult supervision. The brewery has been a Dunedin landmark since its founding in 1876. The guided tour takes you through the Speight's brewery, sharing the heritage and culture of beer, from the Babylonians to today. The tour's finale is a 25 minute beer tasting. You must be 18 years old to join in on the tasting.
Fortune Theatre, 231 Stuart St, corner of Stuart St and Moray Pl, Box office 03, Administration 03, fax 03, . Housed in a converted stone church, the Fortune Theatre provides professional live performances to the citizens of Otago.
The Octagon. The city centre - it is shaped like an Octagon instead of the standard square. This part of town is very active and lots of businesses strive to be near it.
Robert Burns statue. The over 100 year old statue of poet Robbie Burns sits in The Octagon and was recently restored. The statue was cast by a notable sculptor of Edinburgh, Scotland. This same sculptor made four other, nearly identical, statues, one of which rests in Central Park, New York.
The Organ Pipes small columnar rock format set in a hillside with splendid views. Pleasant hike up a steep bush track from a carpark about 5 km (3 mi) out of town along North Road.
The Victorian architecture especially the Old Railway Station a couple of blocks from the city centre.
Otago University has some great old buildings to wander about and see, when Uni's in its a good place to sit, people watch and take it all in, some good food/cafes/bars are nearby too.
The Royal Albatross Colony, Taioroa Head, ☎ +64 3 478 0499 or 0800 528 767 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . is the only mainland albatross nesting site in the world. It is an hour's drive along the western coast of Otago Peninsula on a road that skirts the water for most of its length without any guardrail. In places, the city buses which frequent the road are wider than the lanes (the local traffic is used to this, and drives very carefully), so if you don't trust your driving reflexes, take a coach instead. Albatrosses may be seen during the summer months, as well as other wildlife at all times of the year. Guided tours of the colony and the old fortifications on and under the headland are conducted daily.edit
Otago Museum - There is free internet in learning section on the second floor
Forsyth Barr Stadium - A futuristic rugby and soccer stadium, opened in 2011 for the Rugby World Cup, it is fully enclosed with a grass surface—the only such stadium in the world. (The roof is transparent, allowing grass to grow.) Some are already starting to call the stadium the "Greenhouse of Pain"—a play on "House of Pain", the nickname of Carisbrook, the stadium it replaced.
University Oval - Replaced Carisbrook as the city's main cricket ground in the 2000s after a major renovation.
Tunnel beach - The story goes that crazy old Cargill had a steep tunnel cut through the stone cliff, so his daughter could go to the beach. Some stories say she later drowned, but it's a lovely beach all the same, and the tunnel is very spooky. You need to walk over farmland to get there, so access is banned during lambing. See the visitor's centre in the Octagon for further information.
Otago Peninsula - much scenic coastline including rugged points and headlands, wildfowl-laden mud flats and beautiful Allans Beach (plus several smaller beaches) on the south/east coast, and picturesque hamlets on the north/west coast (including a pretty and peaceful cemetery on a little spit of land called Dunoon, many boat-houses and a minuscule beach). Seals, sea-lions and other interesting fauna turn up at all of the southern/eastern beaches. Ask nicely, and the locals may even tell you where the good spots are for gathering shellfish, catching Blue Cod, and viewing the wildlife without having to pay for the privelage.
Otakou marae - a Maori church and meeting-house, which gave the Otago Peninsula its name. Find it on a side-road near Harington Point, at the outer (northeast) end of the Peninsula.
Larnach Castle. Billed as "the only castle" in New Zealand, it's very pretty but technically only a manor house and there is another (ruined, but being restored) building in the same predicament called Cargill's Castle in the southern suburbs of Dunedin. Lanarch Castle has a rich but rather unhappy but interesting history.
Dunedin Botanical Gardens - occupying over 50 hectares (123 acres) in the north end of the city; an excellent place for a several-hour stroll. Has an aviary along with many themed garden areas such as Rhododendron, Azalea and Rose Gardens.
Orokonui EcoSanctuary, Blueskin Rd (accessed from Blueskin Rd on the scenic route between Port Chalmers and Waitati), ☎ +64 3 482 1755, . 9:30am to 4:30pm, with guided tours at 11am and 1:30pm. The Orokonui EcoSanctuary – creating a future for our past. Home to some of New Zealand's most fascinating and rare wildlife and providing visitors with exceptional experiences while allowing native flora and fauna to live naturally in a safe haven. edit
Baldwin Streetin Dunedin's North East Valley suburb is, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the steepest street in the world. Take the ten minute walk to the top or drive up to enjoy the view looking down! There is a drinking fountain at the top. Some people have tried, and a few have succeeded, to cycle all the way up Baldwin Street - try it if you're a keen cyclist. That said, you will need to be careful coming back down - chances are the cycle's brakes will do little to slow your descent on such an incline!
Baldwin Street Gutbuster. Take part in a run up and back on the world's steepest street during the city's summer festival.
Swim or surf the beaches. Much more fun if you wear a wetsuit. If it's a bit cold, there's a heated saltwater pool adjacent to the main beach a little north of the esplanade.
Tramping. Dunedin has some of the most easily-accessible tracks of any city in NZ. In less than half an hour you can be in pristine bush far from the worries of the world. Ask about Green Hut Track, Carey's Creek, Possum Hut, Rosella Ridge, Yellow Ridge, Rocky Ridge, Rongamai, Honeycomb, Powder Creek, Long Ridge, Swampy Ridge, Leith Saddle, Pineapple, Silver Peaks, Bethunes Gully, Burns, Rustlers, Nichols Creek, Nichols Falls, to name just some of the fabulous tramping tracks around this city. Ask at the Visitor Centre or get The Ultimate Tramping Guide for around Dunedin at DoC ($10) and cut loose. Dunedin also has some of the best opportunities for Geocaching in the Southern Hemisphere, having hosted a mega event in 2012.
Have a few beers with the local students; alcohol is very reasonably priced at around $10 for a jug of ale.
Dunedin Chinese Garden, Corner of Rattray and Cumberland Streets (Two minutes walk from the Railway Station and five minutes from the Octagon.), ☎ +64 3 474-3594, . Daily 10:00-17:00. A piece of serenity in the city, with an extensive collection of plants, Chinese materials and home wares forming a quaint and authentic garden setting. The Dunedin Chinese Garden is an example of a late Ming, early Ching Dynasty Scholar's Garden and is one of only two traditional Chinese Gardens in the Southern Hemisphere, the other, larger one being in Nelson. Try some amazing dumplings and Chinese tea. An opportunity not to be missed!edit
Ovelston, 42 Royal Terrace, ☎ +64 3 477-3320, . 09.30-16:00. Olveston homestead provided the Theomin family with the perfect setting to entertain both professional and personal friends. Seven servants were employed to service the 35 rooms of the home and to manicure the acre of beautiful garden. The home is sited in the inner city and is within walking distance from the city centre.$17.00. edit
Armstrong Disappearing Gun, Otago Harbour, . All hours. This Armstrong Disappearing Gun was installed in May 1889 and was recommissioned during World War II. It is the only one of its kind working and is still in its original gun pit. Coastal fortifications were constructed in New Zealand in two main waves. The first wave occurred around 1885 and was a response to fears of an attack by Russia. The second wave occurred during World War II and was due to fears of invasion by the Japanese. The fortifications were built from British designs adapted to New Zealand conditions.Free. edit
Attend the University of Otago  or the Otago Polytechnic . The students in Dunedin are referred to as scarfies and provide most of the volume at Carisbrook - the city's main sports ground. It helps to have the image of a Southern man and drink copious amounts of Speights - the local brew.
For the desperate, McDonalds is at 232 George Street, where an internet cafe is attached. For the even more desperate, you can try the Dunedin favourite, a cheese roll - a mixture of grated cheese, onion and soup on bread toasted.
George Street has many restaurants, starting about two blocks north of The Octagon (in the centre of Dunedin). There are also a few interesting places on Albany Street, which runs across the south of the University Of Otago.
The Friday bakery in Roslyn village is recommended. A cafe and wine shop called RHUBARB across the road.
If you're looking for brunch type foods on Saturday the farmers market at the Railway Station has delicious delicacies such as crepes (including gluten free), the popular "bacon buttie", Whitebait fritters, and baking as well as fresh fruit and veges.
Being NZ, if you want Fish and Chips, you go to a true fish and chip shop for them, and being a student town, you can expect to find some very cheap take-away food near the university campus.
The Good Oil down George Street (the main street) has premium ALLPRESS espresso coffee, fantastic edibles from the cabinet made fresh daily, and a full al a carte brunch menu available, also on Fridays from 6PM they host some of Dunedin's top acoustic musical talent with fantastic Central otago wines and locally brewed ales available.
One interesting local speciality is kumara chips , made with a local sweet-potato variant and typically priced at about double the cost of potato chips.
The kiwis are also good at making ice cream, and many places (including little delis and general stores at places like MacAndrew Bay) sell cones for fairly reasonable prices (e.g. $2.50 for a giant ice-cream at the Rob Roy on the corner of George and Albany st).
Satay Noodle House, Hanover Street (Opposite the Hannah's Meridian entrance) has good Cambodian and Thai food at cheap prices ~$7.
Circadian Rhythm Vegan Cafe, 72 St. Andrew St (03 474 9994), offers a buffet for just $8.50. And they are gluten and dairy free.
Pasha Cafe and Bar, 31 St. Andrew St (03 477 7181), offers doner kebabs for ~ $11+. Popular with locals lunch spot 12-2pm, prices are higher for dinner.
For the freshest local organic produce, including fruit, vegetables, eggs, bread, cheese, etc it's a good idea to check out the Farmer's Market. It's on Saturday mornings, 8AM til around 12:30PM, next to the railway station.
Best Cafe, 30 Stuart Street, ☎ +64 3 477 8059 (email@example.com). 11:30-2:30 and 5:00-8:00 Mon-Sat Open until 9 Fr & Sa. Great fish and chips cafe. Unlike most places, you'll get a broad selection of fish to choose from. Dine-in and take-way. Bluff oysters when in season (starting in March).edit
Etrusco at the Savoy, 8 Moray Place, (03 477 3737) - Great Italian meals ranging between $10 - $25. This restaurant has its fair share of long time returning locals and will defiantly satisfy your need for a decent meal without having to stroll too far from the centre of town.
Jizo, 56 Princes St, (03 479 2692). Japanese restaurant. If you want to be impressed, then order one of the Katsu dishes. Deluxe Katsu is good as is the Chicken Katsu. Damn good sushi to boot.
Zucchini Bros, 292 Highgate, Roslyn. (03-477 9373). Fantastic pizza & pasta from the Bros. Lovely staff and the menu is tried and true. Get a no.20 pizza, and the Chicken & Mushroom pasta is hard to beat. Serving Emersons and Green Man beer. These guys deliver also.
Arden Central Bed and Breakfast, 36 Arden St, 03 473 8860, . Offers B&B, homestay and ensuite. 20 minute walk to the Octagon. $45-130.
Chalet Backpackers, 296 High St, 03 479 2075, 0800 242 538. 10 min walk to the Octagon. No bunks are to found in this backpackers - and only a maximum of 5 people in the largest room!
Dunedin Central Backpackers, 243 Moray Pl, 03 477 9985, . 1 minute from the Octagon in the heart of the city.
Elm Lodge Backpackers Dunedin, 74 Elm Row, 03 474 1872, 0508 356 563, . Friendly backpackers/hostel located 5 minutes walk from the city's center the Octagon. Limited parking is found on the street.
Hogwartz Backpacker Hostel, 277 Rattray St, 03 474 1487. 5 minute walk from the Octagon. Maximum 4 share room, no bunks.
Leviathan Heritage Hotel and Downtown Dunedin Backpackers, 27 Queens Gardens, 03 477 3160, 0800 773 773, . 2 minute walk to the Octagon. Practically next door to a 24x7 Countdown supermarket and the railway station.
Manor House Backpackers, 28 Manor Pl, 0800 4770484, (www.manorhousebackpackers.co.nz). Set in 2 colonial homes and surrounded with beautiful gardens there is nowhere more pleasant to stay in Dunedin. 10min walk to the octagon. Prices from $22.
On Top Backpackers, Filleul St near The Octagon and Moray St, 03 477 6121 (fax 477 6141), , low $20s for a dorm bed, small dorms, good clean facilities, good staff, good attitude, right next to TheOctagon and two blocks from a 24x7 Countdown supermarket. Built over a pool hall and bar; literally one minute from most facilities including cinema, library, information centre, banks, food etc. 24x7 swipe-card access.
Penny's Backpackers, 6 Stafford St, freephone 0800 pennys (or 03 477 6027), fax: 03 477 6037, . Close to The Octagon and Dunedin Nightlife, free Internet & DVDS, local phone, pickups, on street parking. Female only dorm. Dorms from $18. Renovated historical Dunedin hotel.
10 Trinity Court Motel, ☎ +64 3 477-2767, Freephone: 0800 444 909 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +64 3 477-2724), . This Budget Motel Chain member offers private parking and all of the rooms are non-smoking with private facilities.$89 single and up. edit
Cargills Hotel,678 George St, 0800 737378,. A 50 room property surrounding a beautiful courtyard garden, award winning restaurant and lounge bar. Close to University, Hospital and CBD.
City Sanctuary Bed and Breakfast, 165 Maitland St, 03 4745002, . A lovely restored villa set in gardens justg minutes from the city's attractions. En suite. Spa bath. $100-175.
Hilltop on High Street, 433 High St, 03 477 1053, . Offers backpackers, homestay, ensuite and B&B. $70-90.
Leviathan Heritage Hotel and Downtown Dunedin Backpackers, 27 Queens Gardens, 03 477 3160, 0800 773 773, . 2 minute walk to the Octagon.
Magnolia House Non-Smoking Bed and Breakfast, 18 Grendon, Maori Hill. 20 min walk to Octagon. Beautiful old Victorian villa set in gardens. $120 double, $100 single.
27 Pitt, 27 Pitt St, 03 477 5133, fax 03 477 5132, email@example.com. A quiet bed and breakfast. $220-250.
Boutique Bed and Breakfast, 107 Jefferis Road, 2 R. D Waikouaiti, 03 465 7239, . Historic Bed and breakfast with remodelled suites set in the peaceful countryside 30 mins North of Dunedin. $150.
Elgin House, 31 Elgin Rd, 0800 272 940, 03 453 0004, fax 03 453 0004, firstname.lastname@example.org, . $195-250. Bed and breakfast built in the late 1800s located 3 km (2 mi) from town in the nearby suburb of Mornington.
Fletcher Lodge, 276 High St, 0800 843563, 03 477 5552, fax 03 474 5551, . Bed and breakfast with beautiful suites. $175-550.
Hyland House, 1003 George St, 0800 HYLAND, 03 473 1122, fax 03 473 6066,. Suite rooms with private bathrooms. $140-300.
One Royal Terrace Bed & Breakfast, 1 Royal Ter, 03 479 0772, fax 03 479 0775, . $180-495.
Peacocks, 304 York Pl, 0800 327 333, 03 474 1300, 0276 200 345, . Luxury bed and breakfast with ensuite rooms. $200-350.
Station Masters Cottage, 300 York Pl, 0800 327 333, 03 474 1300, 0276 200 345, . 3 rooms in a historic cottage. $220-390.
Living Space Dunedin, 192 Castle St, ☎ +64 (0)3 951 5000, . LivingSpace provides several options of rooms, starting with a studio for $89. There are also discounts for those staying weekly or monthly. Located a block from New World Market (grocery) and Countdown (grocery), a couple of blocks from Cadbury World, and a 5 minute walk to the restored train station (and home of the very popular Saturday farmer's market.) Some rooms have self-contained kitchens, while others have kitchenettes, but all guests are invited to use the large shared kitchens, TV rooms, theatre, and computer room, located throughout the building.edit
Quest Apartments Dunedin, 333 Cumberland St, ☎ +64 (0)3 470 1725, . Quest Apartments in Dunedin, 40-room serviced apartment complexlocated in Central Business District and across the road from the famous Cadbury World Tour.edit
Leith Valley Holiday Park is within decent walking range of downtown and close to the Botanical Gardens and the Otago Museum. It has all the normal holiday park facilities including showers, kitchen, internet access, etc. Although it caters mostly to camper vans and motor homes, campers with bikes and tents do stay there.
The city is quite safe. There tends to be a 'party atmosphere' on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and a lot of people enjoying the night life get drunk or boisterous in the centre city and Dunedin North area - generally students having fun and unwinding after a week of lectures and studies. There is generally quite a lot of 'Dutch courage' and merriment then and so be aware of that when going out in the central part late at night on the days mentioned above. Students who have had a bit to drink will be wandering about and be part of the night life and so bear that in mind if it is not your thing. The rest of the week is very quiet in comparison. Dunedin North is the student suburb and rowdy and famously so at very specific times, especially during the student induction week known as Orientation which starts the last week of February. Every night during that time is noisy and celebratory as people go out to see rock bands and have quite a few drinks. It's liveliness is in truth its attraction for many and why a lot of students from the rest of the country choose Dunedin to go to university. Exercise the same caution and common sense that you would in any other western city. The police station is in Great King Street, next to Countdown, the supermarket. If you do not act aggressively to someone who is a 'wee bit sloshed' you should do OK. People may tease but do not tend to harm. Smile and be friendly and you'll do fine if encountering rowdiness. Tourists are viewed with curiosity and people are helpful and kind.
Albany Street Centre, 28 Albany St, +64 3 479-2169. M-Th 09:00-17:00. Professional counselling services.
Octagon Amcal Pharmacy, 2 George St, at the corner of the Octagon and George St, 0800 ASK AMCAL, +64 3 477-1289, fax +64 3 477-1289, . M-Th 08:30-17:30, F 08:30-21:00, Sa 09:30-16:00, Su 10:00-14:00. Closed 25 Dec, 1 Jan, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!