The Luxury Travel Guide to Dunedin

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The Guide to a Luxurious Stay in Dunedin

A stunning city with heritage, wildlife and culture as rich as Dunedin deserves a special way to experience it. Whether you’re travelling to celebrate a special occasion or simply prefer to travel in style, Dunedin offers a wide range of experiences and accommodation to suit. From exclusive private tours around the city to gaining access to private conservation areas for the best wildlife viewings, the premium experiences here are endless. The city also offers intriguing museums, art galleries, castles and mansions to explore no matter what the weather is doing. Find out more about the activities, places to stay and restaurant scene in this luxury travel guide to Dunedin.

10 Luxury Activities in Dunedin

  • Indulge in high tea at Larnach Castle
  • See wildlife close-up on a private conservation area with Elm Wildlife Tours
  • Do an exclusive private tour of the city and the Otago Peninsula
  • Tour a 35-room mansion with 250 works of art
  • Take a tour of the Otago Museum
  • Learn about the southern night’s sky in a Maori stargazing experience
  • Discover the art scene on an art tour of Dunedin
  • Tour one of New Zealand’s oldest breweries concluded with a two-course meal
  • Treat yourself at Dunedin’s fine dining restaurants
  • Play golf with a view at one of the Dunedin golf courses

Find out more about each activity in the 10 Luxury Activities in Dunedin.©

Luxury Activities in Dunedin

Discover the wildlife, culture and heritage highlights of Dunedin through these premium experiences.

A trip to Dunedin must include a visit to the Otago Peninsula to see its unique wildlife. This peninsula extending its arm from Dunedin city not only provides spectacular views but is the habitat to New Zealand sea lions, fur seals, royal albatross, little blue penguins, yellow-eyed penguins and more. See these creatures on a small-group tour with Elm Wildlife Tours. The highly-regarded tour operator takes you to exclusive private conservation areas to offer some close-up viewings of wildlife in their natural habitat with minimal disturbance. Find out more about Elm Wildlife Tours on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Combine culture and glorious stargazing on the Otago Peninsula 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 on the Otago Peninsula. 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.

While there are many tours taking you around the highlights of the city, a more luxurious offering is presented by Fantail Tours. Discover Dunedin’s unique natural beauty, wildlife and rich heritage on their full-day private tour. Explore Dunedin at your own pace with your friends or loved ones, stopping by your chosen attractions for as long as you like or suggested destinations, such as the Signal Hill viewpoint over the city, the gorgeous architecture of the Otago University, the Botanic Garden, and the Otago Peninsula to visit the Royal Albatross Centre, Larnach Castle and scenic lookouts. Find out more about private tours with Fantail Tours on Viator and Tripadvisor.

For more inspiration for what to do in Dunedin, see the 10 Dunedin Must-Dos.

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Fine Dining in Dunedin

Conclude a day of exploring the picturesque city of 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 begs to differ. Taste local fish and venison dishes, with a couple of thoughtful vegetarian options available. Alternatively, Bracken on Filleul Street evokes the Scottish heritage flair of Dunedin in its decor and farm-to-table cuisine. Finally, Bacchus Wine Bar at The Octagon is an award-winning restaurant using local ingredients paired with local wines and an impressive selection of whiskey.

Foodie Experiences

While a guided tour and exploring the grounds of Larnach Castle is a must, one of their premium experiences is high tea. Served in the garden or by the fire in the castle’s historic ballroom, Larnach Castle’s 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 superbly manicured gardens with tremendous views of the Otago Peninsula, as well as a guided tour of New Zealand’s only castle.

While not classed as “fine dining”, 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 its ales. Learn about the history of the brewery, touch, taste and smell the ingredients used, and find out how to pull the perfect pint at The Tasting Room. The experience concludes with a two-course meal at the Speight’s Ale House with your choice of newly-discovered beer. Find out more about the tour on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Learn more about the food scene of Dunedin with The Foodie Guide to Dunedin.©

All-Weather Luxury Experiences in Dunedin

Like many places in New Zealand, the weather often gets a little wet in Dunedin. Make sure you have a back-up plan with these activity ideas for luxury travellers.

Discover Dunedin’s best art galleries 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. This unique tour gives you the opportunity to be introduced to Dunedin’s top galleries and hidden gems, often meeting the gallerist and the artists. At the end of the morning, sit down for a coffee with the group and discuss the pieces you’ve seen. Check out Viator and Tripadvisor for more details on this tour.

Another one for art-lovers and those who appreciate heritage and history, the Olveston Historic Home holds a wonderful collection of art. Join the Theomin Art Collection Tour (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) to discover more than 240 local and international artworks acquired by the Theomin 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 and elegant gardens. More details can be found on Viator and Tripadvisor.

A must-visit attraction in Dunedin is the Otago Museum, home to a splendid array of art, culture and natural history exhibitions. The museum offers a wealth of possibilities, from its own planetarium to an indoor tropical garden. One of the best ways to be introduced to 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 of the Otago Museum on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Need more ideas? See 11 Things to Do in Dunedin on a Rainy Day.

More About Dunedin

That’s it for the luxury travel guide to Dunedin. Find even more tips to make your luxury getaway exceptional in The Luxury Travel Guide to New Zealand.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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