Luxury Experiences in Dunedin
Want to experience Dunedin in a way that’s out of the ordinary? Make the most of your time here by exploring the city’s art galleries, historic buildings and museums with the locals. Get exclusive access to private conservation areas to optimise your wildlife viewing on the Otago Peninsula. Dine at some of the city’s most prestigious restaurants. And the list goes on. Discover how to amplify your visit to Dunedin with this list of luxury activities in Dunedin.
1. Indulge in High Tea at Larnach Castle
While visiting New Zealand’s only castle is a must, one of the most premium experiences at Larnach Castle is the high tea. Served in the garden or by the fire in the castle’s historic ballroom, high tea includes a selection of homemade sandwiches, slices, cream cakes and a pot of tea to top it all off. Combine the experience with exploring the beautifully manicured gardens with tremendous views of the Otago Peninsula, as well as a guided tour of the castle’s lavish interior.
2. See Wildlife Close-up on a Private Conservation Area with Elm Wildlife Tours
A visit to Dunedin is not complete until you discover the unique wildlife of the Otago Peninsula. This peninsula extending from Dunedin city not only offers spectacular scenery but is the habitat to New Zealand sea lions, fur seals, royal albatross, little blue penguins, yellow-eyed penguins and more. See these creatures and wading birds on a small-group tour with Elm Wildlife Tours. The highly-regarded tour operator takes you to exclusive private conservation areas for close-up viewings of wildlife in their natural habitat with minimal disturbance. Find out more about Elm Wildlife Tours on Viator and Tripadvisor. Plus, see more activities like this in the 10 Dunedin Must-Dos.
3. Take an Exclusive Private Tour of the City and the Otago Peninsula
While there are many tours taking you to the highlights of the city, a more exclusive offering is presented by Fantail Tours. Discover Dunedin’s unique natural beauty, wildlife and rich heritage on their full-day tour exclusively for you and up to five other friends or loved ones. Explore Dunedin at your own pace, stopping by your chosen attractions for as long as you like, or opt for the suggested destinations from your local guide, such as the Signal Hill viewpoint over the city, to see the gorgeous architecture of the Otago University, to explore the Botanic Garden, and visit the Otago Peninsula to check out the Royal Albatross Centre, Larnach Castle and scenic lookouts. Find out more about private tours with Fantail Tours on Viator and Tripadvisor.
4. Tour a 35-room Mansion with 250 Works of Art
For those who appreciate heritage and art, the Olveston Historic Home is home to a wonderful collection of artwork and historic relics. Join the Theomin Art Collection Tour (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) to discover more than 240 local and international artworks acquired by the mansion’s family between the 1800s and 1960s. Also available is the Olveston Historic Home Tour giving you a one-hour guided overview of the 35-room mansion, its history and the elegant gardens. More details can be found on Viator and Tripadvisor. See more all-weather activities like this in 11 Things to Do in Dunedin on a Rainy Day.
5. Take a Tour of the Otago Museum
A must-visit attraction in Dunedin, the Otago Museum showcases a splendid array of art, culture and natural history exhibitions. The museum offers a wealth of possibilities to suit your interests, from its own planetarium to an indoor tropical butterfly garden. One of the best ways to get acquainted with the museum is on the Treasures of the Otago Museum Guided Tour, where you’ll get to dive deeper into the 1.5 million relics on display with your museum guide. Learn more about guided tours on Viator and Tripadvisor.
6. Learn About the Southern Night’s Sky in a Maori Stargazing Experience
Culture and glorious stargazing are combined on the Otago Peninsula stargazing experience with Horizon Tours. Learn about the Maori legends surrounding the southern night’s skies as you gaze at the clear stars from a rural farm away from the intrusive city lights. The experience includes hot beverages and light refreshments, as well as the possibility of seeing the Southern Lights (Aurora Australis) if the conditions are just right. Check out Horizon Tours on Viator and Tripadvisor.
7. Discover the Art Scene on an Art Tour of Dunedin
Discover Dunedin’s top art galleries and boutique exhibitions with a local guide on the ArtExplore tour. The two-hour walking tour occurs every second and fourth Saturday of the month except in winter, giving you the opportunity to be introduced to Dunedin’s finest art and often meeting the gallerists and the artists. At the end of the morning, enjoy a coffee at a local cafe with your fellow art-lovers. Check out Viator and Tripadvisor for more details on this tour.
8. Tour One of New Zealand’s Oldest Breweries Concluded with a Two-course Meal
The Brewery Tour and Ale House Lunch at the Speight’s Brewery is a must-do for foodies. Tour the oldest operational brewery in New Zealand, discovering how one of New Zealand’s most popular beer brands makes the good stuff. On the one-hour tour, learn about the history of the brewery, touch, taste and smell the ingredients used, and learn how to pour the perfect pint at The Tasting Room. The experience concludes with a two-course meal at their on-site ale house with a glass of your choice of newly-discovered beer. Find out more about the tour on Viator and Tripadvisor. See more experiences like this in the 8 Things to Do in Dunedin for Foodies.
9. Treat Yourself at Dunedin’s Fine Dining Restaurants
Conclude a day of exploring Dunedin by indulging in some of the finest cuisines in the city. Moiety at 42 Queens Gardens advertises themselves as “definitely not fine dining”, but their impeccably-presented plates of New Zealand-style cuisine certainly beg to differ. Alternatively, Bracken on Filleul Street evokes a Scottish heritage flair in its decor and farm-to-table cuisine. Finally, Bacchus Wine Bar in The Octagon is an award-winning restaurant using local ingredients and offers an extensive menu of local wines and whiskies.
10. Play Golf with a View at One of the Dunedin Golf Courses
A way to unwind in Dunedin is with a round of golf. Check out the St Clair Golf Club, an 18-hole course topping the coastal cliffs overlooking St Clair Beach. The Otago Golf Club offers another 18-hole challenge just five minutes’ drive from the CBD. Finally, visit the laidback 9-hole Gladfield Golf Club within rolling hills in an attractive countryside setting. Find out more about golf in New Zealand in our 21 Best Golf Courses in New Zealand.