The beautiful New Zealand city of Dunedin enjoys a spectacular location on the beautiful Otago peninsula and it’s a wonderful destination for culture-based breaks or outdoor activity holidays. Summer is a popular time for mountain bike and cycling holidays thanks to the mild climate and the long hours of daylight, while wildlife lovers can take the opportunity to see rare yellow-eyed penguins or visit the only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal albatross in the world.
History and architecture enthusiasts will be in their element – magnificent Larnach Castle dominates the Otago ridge and dates from the 19th century, while other notable buildings include the Municipal Chambers and the Knox Church. Outdoor fans can visit some of the many pristine beaches close to the city and surfers are attracted by excellent conditions. St. Clair beach is one of the most popular and surfers of all levels congregate here. The Esplanade Surf School offers lessons for beginners, while the superb hot salt pool is the perfect place for those of a less active nature to relax.
Dunedin Public Art Gallery presents lots of interactive events, and peak holiday months always feature plenty of kid-friendly shows. The Hair Raiser Ghost Walk began in 1999, and this unique attraction is now a favourite with visitors who enjoy seeing where famous spectres like the black dog and the Silke were said to roam before finishing up with a nerve steadying dram at the Scotia Whisky Bar.
Dunedin is the main city in the Otago region of New Zealand’s South Island and its temperate Oceanic climate has warm, sunny summers and cool winters with a fair number of sunny days. Summer is widely agreed to be the very best time to visit and it runs from November to April. The peak months are December, January and March and it can be busy as local school holidays coincide with the increase in international tourism. May and October are shoulder seasons with cheaper fares for travellers, and the fantastic scenery in and around the city is heightened by the onset of October spring growth or the autumn change in foliage in May.
The October Rhododendron Festival celebrates the profusion of colourful shrubs that transform the city and the event attracts many visitors. There is still much to be said for visiting Dunedin during the off-peak months of June to September, and those with a sweet tooth might enjoy a stay in July when the Chocolate Carnival comes to town for a delicious and exciting week.