Dunedin, New Zealand
Dunedin, New Zealand and the Otago Peninsula in the South Island have a long and rich heritage, with a very Scottish feel to the city. The history of Dunedin commenced in the 1860's as a result of the gold rushes of this time. Many of today's buildings date back to this period, resulting in a very Victorian and Edwardian influence everywhere you go in Dunedin.
If you are looking for something different to take home, then Dunedin has many outlets selling exquisite New Zealand jewellery and souvenirs using many different materials including New Zealand paua shell, kauri gum, gold, silver and bone. There are also a number of boutique fashion, designer shops which have an enviable reputation for quality and design.
Dunedin also has what is possibly New Zealand's most photographed building, the Dunedin Railway Station. Built in a Flemish renaissance style, with very distinctive Clock Tower, light and dark tiling and intricate mosaic floor; Dunedin Railway Station houses the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame; as well as being the starting point for the Taieri Gorge Railway. Other places of interest include Olveston House, St Paul's Cathedral and the Municipal Chambers.
Dunedin has four gardens of national significance, Dunedin Botanic Gardens, Glenfalloch Woodland Garden, Larnach Castle and The Dunedin Chinese Garden. All four gardens are truly magnificent, and well worth a visit. Each year in November Dunedin has a Rhododendron Festival.
For the outdoor enthusiast, the Otago Central Rail Trail has a range of 1 to 7 day bike tours suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
Dunedin is also often called the wildlife capital of New Zealand. A short drive away is the Otago Peninsula, definitely a paradise for nature lovers. Located on Otago Peninsula you can find the yellow eyed penguin, which is the world's rarest penguin; visit the world's only mainland royal albatross colony; see New Zealand fur seals in their natural habitat; and be mesmerized by marine life at the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre.
In the centre of Dunedin is the Octagon. People meet here at the cafes and bars to relax. Dunedin is very much a University City, located at the Octagon is the Clock Tower for the University of Otago, and a statue of Robbie Burns.
Out on Otago Peninsula is Larnach Castle with its tragic and scandalous history, and magnificent gardens and grounds. Glenfalloch Gardens are also located nearby.
Dunedin weather is based on a temperate climate with four seasons. In summer temperatures reach 20° - 25°C, 13° - 17°C in autumn, 9° - 12°C in the winter months and 12° - 17°C in spring. During winter you will get some frosts and an occasional snow fall, however the days are usually clear. Each season brings its own charm.