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Olveston House Dunedin

Pricing From
$22

South Island
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Overview

Olveston Historic Home is one of Dunedin's finest and most well-known landmarks. It was built for a local businessman and philanthropist, David Theomin, his wife Marie and their children Edward and Dorothy. The family first took up residence in 1906 and, what was hoped to remain a family home for generations, was gifted to the city in 1966. The Theomin children both passed away without any heirs and Dorothy was the last resident here until her passing in 1966. As of the following year, the historic house became a museum with all of its original contents.

The design

The design of this grand home was thanks to Sir Ernest George, a highly acclaimed English architect. It had a total of 35 rooms which included bedrooms, a kitchen, scullery, vestibule, drawing room, billiard room, card room, dining room, library, and hall. The total floor area of the home is an impressive 1276m2.

Green & Abbot, a London firm, were charged with the task of decorating the interior while the wallpapers came all the way from Buffalo, New York. The Theomins specifically chose these wallpapers during one of their visits to America.

Construction

Construction of the Olveston home started in 1904 and was completed by 1906. Robert Miekle was responsible for the project with Mason and Wales supervising the job.

The south front of the home is famously asymmetrical and the brick structure was covered with Moeraki pebbles to give it a warmer and more welcoming appearance. This, along with the cream North Otago limestone, creates the perfect contrast and compliments the extravagant oriel window. You cannot miss the tower block and flagpole above.

The east side has elegant bay windows that emphasize the spaciousness of this decadent home. The best place to get a good look at the steep, tiled roof and chimneys is from the north.

The ideal spot to enjoy some afternoon sun and the view of the garden and trees is from the west face. The most notable features of this part of the exterior include the Tuscan columns.

Interior Features

The home has an amazing and impressive collection of artefacts that capture the essence of the family along with a great deal of history. Some of the main objects housed inside this home today include bronze statues, Chinese ceramics, Japanese ivory, and even art by such famous names as Grace Joel, Frances Hodgkins and Veronese. There are also family photos on display for visitors to admire.

Olveston's Garden

The lush surroundings are another popular attraction that makes this home so special. The way in which the home itself bears a connection to the garden is evident at first glance. For this reason, in 1991, the project of redeveloping Olveston's garden began. Significant tree work was carefully planned and executed to give this garden the appearance and credit it deserves.

Olveston Historic Home Dunedin

1922 Fiat 510 Tourer

Olveston Historic Home Dunedin

Billiard Room

Olveston Historic Home Dunedin

Dining Room

Olveston Historic Home Dunedin

Drawing Room

Olveston Historic Home Dunedin

Eagle Range

Olveston Historic Home Dunedin

Olveston Hall

Olveston Historic Home Dunedin

Olveston Historic Home

Olveston Historic Home Dunedin

Library

Olveston Historic Home Dunedin

Scullery

Olveston Historic Home Dunedin

Vegetable Garden

Olveston Historic Home Dunedin

Vestibule with Japanese Weaponry

Olveston Historic Home Dunedin

Olveston from the garden

Olveston Historic Home Dunedin

1922 Fiat 510 Tourer in drive way

Cost per person

October 2018 - September 2019

  • Adult: NZ$22
  • Child: NZ$12

Child: School age

Infants 0-5 years free of charge

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