ROL Cruise recommends…
Eight miles from busy Dunedin is charming Port Chalmers, a quaint harbour-side town with an innovative art scene and peaceful walking trails. Stop by the Regional Maritime Museum before taking a leisurely stroll around its picturesque streets and galleries. Visit the Captain Scott statue, erected in memorial of his final Antarctic expedition, admire the views at Carey’s Bay or take a trip to Orokonui Ecosanctuary to learn about native wildlife, including the illustrious kiwi.
Dunedin’s Maori history dates back several centuries, with evidence of a fortified pā settlement at Pukekura from around 1650. The sealing and whaling industry of the early 19th century heralded the arrival of Europeans and, in 1848, Dunedin was founded as the principal town of Otago. The name is Scottish Gaelic for Edinburgh and its streets were deliberately styled to emulate the romantic characteristics of its namesake.
View this striking Victorian and Edwardian architecture as you wander around the city spotting iconic spires and carved stone gargoyles. With its basalt, Oamaru stone and pink granite edifice and intricately mosaicked interior, the impressive Dunedin Railway Station makes for a perfect starting point. You can depart here for panoramic views of the countryside aboard the Taieri Gorge railway. A few streets away are the Gothic First Church of Otago, the outstanding University of Otago and the highly-rated Toitū Otago Settlers Museum.
Signs of its British heritage can be found at the Robert Burns statue in the Octagon and at Larnach Castle, a grand residence built by a Scottish entrepreneur. Admire the spectacular views from its glorious gardens, then enjoy a spot of high tea in its beamed ballroom. British visitors might also enjoy a tour of the familiar Cadbury factory and outlet shop, or an energetic climb up Baldwin Street – the world’s steepest residential street.
Nature lovers can head to the immaculate Botanical Gardens for a ‘chat’ with local parrots in lush surroundings, or visit the exotic butterfly house at Otago Museum. Seals, sea lions and rare yellow-eyed penguins can often be spotted nearby, while Taiaroa Head on the isthmus of the Otago Peninsula is the only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross in the world."