I must admit I underestimated Dunedin. I did not expect it to be a big city which has many things to do. And that’s the reason why I had planned to spend only half a day in Dunedin.
A bit about the city
Dunedin is the second largest city in South Island of New Zealand (which I did not know before coming into Dunedin!) and is the city in the Otago province region.
How to get there?
Intercity NZ runs frequent buses from the main cities to Dunedin. I took the bus from Queenstown.
Where to stay?
I am a budgeted traveler, so I generally stay at hostels. I am also a solo traveler, so I believe the best place to meet other fellow cool travelers is at the hostel.In Dunedin, I stayed at Central Backpackers Hostel, which is in the city center. I did not like the hostel very much as it was not as clean as I expected. But I did love their indoor cat Gizmo.What to do in half a day?
I had booked a tour for 3 hours and I was lucky enough that I was the only one in the tour. So I had a guide/driver Les drive me around Dunedin in a cool Mercedes sedan.
The first stop was at the University of Otago. I must say that university was pretty awesome. Dunedin has a lot of Scottish influence and the heritage one building was built by the Scottish settlers. All along the tour of university, I just kept thinking to myself ‘how cool would it be to study in such a beautiful campus!’Before heading to the second stop, I requested Les to take me to the castle. He was such a lovely person, without hesitation he immediately agreed to it. He said that the castle would take about 20 minutes drive from the city center and I would have to buy an entrance fee for the castle.
The second stop was at Baldwin Street. It is the World’s steepest Street.
The third stop was at Dunedin Railway station. Supposedly this is country’s most photographed building. And I wouldn’t debate that. This building was definitely beautiful and it had such amazing details.
The first floor has an art and a sports museum. The art museum was closed and I couldn’t visit it unfortunately.The fourth stop was Larnach Castle. The drive to the castle was all misty and covered with fog. So I could not see the harbor and did not get the amazing views. The ticket can be purchased at the gate of the Castle and it costs about NZD 31 for an adult. I was welcomed by a lush beautifully maintained garden. The castle stretches with a dining area where I believe receptions are held. At the door of the castle, a lady approached me and gave me a small booklet and explained me that it is a self guided tour. The castle has an underground exhibit and has three floors including the ground floor. The Barker family which bought and renovated the castle lives in the castle currently and hence certain sections of the castle are closed.This castle is definitely a must do while in Dunedin. I would recommend it for sure.
Dunedin also has amazing street arts everywhere. I was quite surprised that the graffitis ruled the city so much. I couldn’t do it but I would have loved to walk around the city to view these beautiful art pieces. I believe in just half a day I did see a lot in Dunedin. I would love to come back and explore more places in Dunedin.