All-Weather and Indoor Activities in Dunedin – Perfect for a Rainy Day!
It rains sometimes in Dunedin but don’t worry! We have the ultimate rainy day activity list for Dunedin so you can still enjoy this amazing city without getting wet. Thankfully, there are loads of awesome all-weather and indoor activities in Dunedin so, if the heavens decide to open during your stay, just check out these things to do in Dunedin on a rainy day.
Of course, there are so many things to do in Dunedin that you’ll want to check out our complete guide to Dunedin. What’s more, there are plenty of free things to do, as well as places to stay, so Dunedin is definitely one city you can enjoy for a while.
1. Explore the Otago Museum
Our number one rainy day activity for Dunedin is the number one rainy day activity for most cities: go to the museum. The Otago Museum is the Otago region’s hub for history, culture and so much more. Most of the museum is free, with highlights including a real Egyptian mummy, Maori artefacts and New Zealand’s largest fossil! Some paid exhibitions are definitely worth a look too, such as the science centre with a butterfly garden and planetarium. Alternatively, get more out of your experience on one of the guided tours: Treasures of the Otago Museum and Stories of the South. Find out more about these guided tours on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: 419 Great King Street, Dunedin Central.
2. Watch the World’s Largest Seabirds at The Royal Albatross Centre
Dunedin, or more specifically the Otago Peninsula, is a hotspot for wildlife. While there are many options to see sea lions, penguins, seals and more, The Royal Albatross Centre is a way to have close encounters with wildlife while being indoors. Take a tour to see the royal albatross colony and you will be guided through the Taiaroa Head military battery, which is almost all undercover, to a couple of different undercover viewing hides. Book your tour of The Royal Albatross Centre on Klook.
Location: Taiaroa Head, Otago Peninsula.
3. Travel on The Inlander
Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the amazing New Zealand landscapes. Departing from the Dunedin Railway Station in the city centre, The Inlander, formerly the Taieri Gorge Railway, takes passengers on a journey through the isolated landscapes along the Taieri River. There are lots of tunnels and viaducts to enjoy along the way, as well as commentary throughout the vintage-style carriages. Book your journey on The Inlander on Viator or Tripadvisor. Additionally, find out more in our guide, The Two Dunedin Railways.
Location: Dunedin Railway Station, Anzac Avenue, Dunedin Central.
4. Visit the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
Another fantastic museum in Dunedin is the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum. What’s more, it’s free! Journey through the social history of Dunedin and the Otago region with artefacts and displays of the early Maori settlers to the European, Chinese and beyond! You’ll also see the technologies and everyday items each group of settlers brought with them. The Toitu Museum is much bigger than it appears, so plan at least one hour to explore. See more freebies in the 18 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Dunedin.
Location: 31 Queens Gardens, Dunedin Central.
5. Tour Larnach Castle
Larnach Castle is New Zealand’s one and only castle! (It’s also one of the most haunted places in New Zealand). There are many ways to enjoy Larnach Castle from walking among the finely-kept gardens to staying in the castle’s accommodation. To keep out of the rain, however, you’re options are a guided tour of the castle or high tea in the Ballroom Cafe. Get your castle and gardens admission ticket on Viator or Tripadvisor. Plus, see more experiences like this in the 10 Luxury Activities in Dunedin.
Location: 145 Camp Road, Otago Peninsula.
6. Check Out Some Dunedin Architecture
Similarly to Larnach Castle, there’s a lot more architecture to check out in Dunedin City. Dunedin is one of the only places in New Zealand where you’ll find grand Gothic architecture. However, because this is a rainy day activity list for Dunedin, we’ll stick to some grand buildings you can check out on the inside: The First Church of Otago is well worth checking as its doors are open most of the time. Additionally, see the interior of the Dunedin Railway Station.
Location: The First Church of Otago – 415 Moray Place. Dunedin Railway Station – Anzac Avenue, Dunedin Central.
7. Do a Chocolate Tasting at OCHO Chocolate
Everybody loves chocolate, right? In Dunedin, you can even take a chocolate tour with one of Dunedin’s oldest chocolatiers, OCHO Chocolate. Try the sweet goodness is made with ethically sourced Pacific Islands cocoa and New Zealand ingredients. It’s a great way to spend around 30 minutes out of the rain in Dunedin! Learn more about OCHO Chocolate on Viator and Tripadvisor. Plus, see more experiences like this in the 8 Things to Do in Dunedin for Foodies.
Location: 10 Roberts Street, Dunedin Central.
8. Go On a Brewery Tour
You have two great major New Zealand breweries to choose from in Dunedin: Speight’s Brewery and Emerson’s Brewery. Speight’s is one of the mass-produced beers of New Zealand, found in every supermarket and bottle store across the country. Find out more about the Speight’s Brewery tour on Viator and Tripadvisor. Emerson’s is more on the craft beer scene. Either way, drinking beer and touring a brewery is a good way to stay out of the rain.
Location: Emerson’s Brewery – 70 Anzac Avenue. Speight’s Brewery – 200 Rattray Street, both in Dunedin Central.
9. Check Out the Dunedin Public Art Gallery
Out of the rain? Check! Easy to access from the city centre? Check! The Dunedin Public Art Gallery is situated right inside The Octagon. Of course, the art exhibitions are ever-changing, but it’s a good way to stay out of the rain for half an hour or so.
Location: 30 The Octagon, Dunedin Central.
10. Experience the Culinary Delights of Dunedin
Being a city, there are many different places to grab a coffee or a bite to eat! It’s also a great way to stay out of the rain and people watch. A good place to start with bars and cafes is around The Octagon. Get inspiration for cafes and restaurants to try from The Foodie Guide to Dunedin.
Location: Octagon, Dunedin Central.
11. Treat the Kids to a Session at LEAP Dunedin and Clip ‘n Climb
If you have little ones to entertain then don’t waste a second in taking them to LEAP Dunedin and Clip ‘n Climb Dunedin – both in the same indoor facility! There’s a wealth of exciting games to play between the bouncy dodgeball arena, trampolines, basketball and stunt bags, as well as around 15 climbing walls to challenge them. For more ways to entertain the kids, check out the 10 Things to Do in Dunedin with Kids.
Location: 27 Grosvenor Street, Kensington.
12. Take a Guided Tour of Olveston Historic Home
Get an insight into early 20th Century life on the Olveston Historic Home tour. This one-hour tour through the 35-room mansion takes you through its Jacobean architecture and showcases its historic fine art, furnishings and more. If there’s a break in the rain, you’ll also be able to stroll through its elegant gardens. Book your tour of Olveston on Viator or Tripadvisor.
Location: 42 Royal Terrace, Dunedin Central.
13. Visit the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame Museum
Another exciting aspect of the Dunedin Railway Station is the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame Museum. See exhibitions, trophies and memorabilia of New Zealand’s greatest sporting heroes at this specialist museum. The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday and requires a small admission fee.
Location: Dunedin Railway Station, Anzac Avenue, Dunedin Central.
14. Browse Biological Oddities at The Dunedin Museum of Natural Mystery
One final museum to see you through a rainy day, The Dunedin Museum of Natural Mystery consists of three rooms in a historic villa containing all sorts of skulls, bones, biological oddities and unusual cultural art and artifacts. A highlight is the bone sculptures. The museum is open Friday 12pm-5pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm. There is a small admission fee.
Location: 61 Royal Terrace, Dunedin Central.
15. Binge-Watch 365 Days, 365 Activities in New Zealand
Ok, so this is a bit of shameless self-promotion here, but did you know that the team from NZPocketGuide.com did 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand? Get some New Zealand bucket list inspiration for the next leg of your trip by watching some of our awesome episodes on YouTube!