Dunedin was founded on the picks, harpoons and hard toil of gold miners, whalers and early Scottish settlers over 150 years ago. The Victorian and Edwardian architecture would be equally at home in Edinburgh, the city from which Dunedin draws its name.
Apart from being New Zealand's first University City, a neo-Gothic cathedral, several galleries, theatres and museums are clustered around the Octagon, the unusual grid of streets and historical buildings that form the heart of the city. Highlights include Larnach Castle, Speight’s Brewery and Otago Museum.
Dunedin is well known for its proximity to incredible wildlife on nearby Otago Peninsula. The world’s only mainland breeding royal albatross colony can be found at Taiaroa Head and colonies of the rare yellow-eyed penguin frequent the white sand beaches and can be watched from penguin-friendly visitor hides.
For rail enthusiasts, the 77km Taieri Gorge Railway ranks among the world’s great rail journeys, heading inland from Dunedin towards the gold fields of Central Otago.
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