Dunedin, New Zealand
Located in the Southeast corner of the South Island in New Zealand, Dunedin is a charming town with lots of sightseeing options. It is the second largest city in the South Island and offers a visitor historical, natural, and educational activities for the whole family. Here are some of the reasons we love Dunedin:
It might not be Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, but in Dunedin the residents boast their own magical chocolate making machine called Cadbury World. Adults and children alike will enjoy taking a glimpse behind the scenes at the Cadbury Chocolate factory. Not only can you take an educational tour to see how they make the amazing Cadbury chocolates, you also come away with a bag full of complimentary tasty treats as well. Currently there are two tours offered. A full tour lasting 75 minutes that is conducted during business days at the factory so you can see the full production side of the factory. On weekends and holidays Cadbury World offers a short tour of 45 minutes but you miss the production portion of the tour, which we found very interesting. The good news is that BOTH tours offer you the grand finale where you… Well, you will have to take the tour to find out! Just beware, you may become chocolate coated. Enough said!
If you happen to be in Dunedin in July you must check out the annual Cadbury Chocolate Carnival and of course the Jaffa race. Here is a photo of the orange coated chocolate balls called Jaffas – 25,000 of them rolling down the streets to raise money for local charities. What a sight!
Photo Provided by Cadbury
So after chocolate comes our second love.. Speights Brewery is located just a short walk from the central Dunedin Octagon area. At one time the Speights brewery was the largest in the country and today still is one of the most popular drafts in any local pub. There are several varieties of Speights beer and during the tour you will learn all about the production of the various types. The tour not only provides insight into some of it’s famous brews but also provides some great history of the area in Otago and how Speights grew to be what it is today. The 90 minute tour ends at the brewery bar where you can sample all 6 of the beers brewed by Speights. Of course we did just that..
Dunedin Railway Station
We are history buffs and love learning about the historical significance of the places we visit. Today the Dunedin Railway Station primarily services tourist trains, but in its heyday it was one of the busiest stations in the South Island hosting well over 100 trains daily. Even if you are not planning on taking one of the tourist trains, the station still offers a lot for the visitor. It was one of the most beautiful stations we have visited and if you are a sports fan you can check out the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame located on the top floor. While you are on the top floor you can get a nice view of this iconic stained glass window.
First Church of Otago
We almost always visit the local churches when we are in a new town. Dunedin was no different and had several located right near the central Dunedin Octagon. We were easily able to visit several in a day. While Saint Pauls Cathedral was magnificent, we chose the First Church of Otago as our favorite. This Presbyterian Church has a lot of history and offers a beautiful interior including several stained glass windows for the photographer in us all.
So, this might not be the first stop on a tourist outing but for us the local libraries are a haven. A place to usually get free Wi-fi, quiet surroundings, and a time to get work done. The Dunedin Library was no different except for the fact it had some amazing exhibits going on. So much for getting a lot of writing done!
These are just a few of our favorite places in and around Dunedin. If you have any spots you think make Dunedin special, please let us know in the comments below.
You can find more destinations on our “Why We Love” page. Check back, because it is growing..