Dunedin, New Zealand, is the principal city in the Otago region and the second-largest city in the country. While not as large or well-populated as other cities in the Otago region, Dunedin is considered one of New Zealand’s main tourist destinations because of its cultural significance and historic beauty. However, Dunedin didn’t start out as the charming and cozy little town it is today. From the 1860s to roughly 1900, it was the largest populated city in all of New Zealand. Today, there are more than 120,000 residents who call Dunedin home. Located on the central eastern coast of the Otago region, the city’s most important economic resource is connected to higher education. New Zealand’s first university, the University of Otago, was established in Dunedin in 1869. Small with a multitude of hills, the city was founded by immigrants who hail from Scotland. That legacy and heritage can still be felt today. Nearly all of the local street names come from names of streets in Edinburgh, Scotland. There are also Gothic stone buildings with an impressive display of Scottish Edwardian and Victorian architectural styles. Dunedin’s town center is the perfect place to admire this design work as it is conveniently dense and easily trekked on foot with many exquisite examples of 19th-century architecture to behold. \Gently tucked in the inner corner of Otago Harbour, Dunedin’s spectacular views are second to none. Rugged beaches and raw clifftop landscapes make this city an absolute must-see for any traveler. Here are a few of the top winter tourism destinations in Dunedin. Whether you fancy art, nature or historic architecture, Dunedin has an interesting and varied possible itinerary of things to do, see, savor and enjoy in winter. Travel Dunedin in style with a rented motorhome. Book a camper with Mighway, and let the journey unfold!
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Cathedral Caves are a highlight for visitors to The Catlins. Located in cliffs at the northern end of pristine Waipati Beach, they have attracted international interest for their length - the two sea-formed passages together measure just on 200 metres - and their impressive height, up to 30 metres.
Popular for decades, this outstanding natural feature is 15km south of the village of Papatowai and 2km off the highway. From the car park a one-kilometre walking track descends through lush coastal forest to the beach. Visitors cross Maori freehold land, which is managed by a trust.
There is a small charge for the use of the car park and access to the bush track, beach and caves.
While the Routeburn Track may be a shorter multi-day hike, it has some of the biggest scenery. With soaring mountain peaks, huge valleys, waterfalls and jewel-like lakes the track links the Mount Aspiring National Park with Fiordland National Park.The highest point of the track is 1,255 metres above sea level - so the views are simply spectacular.
The part of New Zealand that the Routeburn Track winds through has been shaped by successive glaciations into fiords, rocky coasts, towering cliffs, lakes and waterfalls. Birdlife is prolific through forested sections of the track; native tomtits, robins, fantails, wood pigeons and bellbirds are commonly seen, as well as the cheeky Kea, the world's only alpine parrot.
This is not a loop track and can be walked in either direction; one track end is at the Routeburn Shelter (near Glenorchy) and the other is at The Divide (closer to Te Anau). It is recommended that this track is avoided between May - September, when there is high risk of avalanches.
Toitū Otago Settlers Museum is a museum of social history dedicated to telling the story of the people of Dunedin and the surrounding area, whose character, culture, technology, art, fashion and transport shaped New Zealand’s first great city.
Its fourteen themed galleries feature interactive displays and powerful narratives tracing the human history of the area, from the earliest settlers to the most recent arrivals.
Captivating exhibitions are complemented by onsite shops, a café and a research centre and archive for those interested in genealogy and other aspects of local history.
The track crosses farmland to a spectacular blowhole, 55 m deep, some 200 m from the sea. It was formed when the roof of a large subterranean cave was eroded by the sea and fell in.
Heavy swells from the southern ocean on this exposed coastline can create an impressive display - waves are compressed through the underground tunnel and explode into the blowhole. There are plenty of roaring sound effects from both the water and an onrush of air, created by the surge from the sea expelling the air from the tunnel.
There are also excellent views from this headland; with the broad sweep of the coastline down to Penguin Bay and beyond a feature.
Jacks Blowhole is about 10 km from Owaka. Turn off the main road into Pounawea Road and follow this for 850 m to the turn into Hinahina Road. Follow Hinahina Road for 6 km then turn into Jacks Bay Road.
As with the bay and nearby island, Jacks Blowhole is named after the famed Ngāi Tahu chief, Tuhawaiki, known to early European settlers as Bloody Jack - apparently he was fond of using the expletive.
20km SW of Dunedin, Brighton is a small seaside town, along the Southern Scenic Route within the city limits of Dunedin. The area is popular for day trips from Dunedin. Surf-lifesaving patrols are on duty here during busy times.
The motorcamp in Brighton also hires out boats for you take a leisurely paddle up the stream.
South Seas Gallery is very popular in Brighton, where visitors can stroll the gardens and view works from such artists as Lindsay Crooks, Janet Weir and Ollie Crooks.
There’s great swimming when the surf’s off and good surf when it’s on. And when you don’t feel like either there’s a small hot spring that flows into the sand at the right side of the beach that you can dig a hole and warm up in. Being 16 kms from the nearest town, Owaka, camping is possible with DOC sites dotted around. And occasionally you’ll be sharing your overnight with a Lion Seal who come ashore at night.Visit Purakaunui Bay
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