Dunedin D-lights

As Dunedin is being marketed as "a pretty good Plan D" to domestic travellers post-Covid-19, we have gone in search of a dozen "D-lights" the city has to offer.

Doctors Point

Head north from Dunedin for 25km and at low tide you can wander along the beach and black stone caves to little Canoe Beach and the small Mapoutahi headland, once a fortified Maori pa. There is a sandy track and staircase across the headland’s neck to reach the longer Purakaunui Beach. Or retrace your steps to Doctors Point, stopping for a coffee at Waitati, or head up to the Orokonui Ecosanctuary to see some local wildlife.

Discovery World

Otago Museum’s Discovery World is now known as the Tuhura Otago Community Trust Science Centre and has 45 hands-on science interactive displays, including the three-tier Tropical Forest. Then there is the digitally interactive Beautiful Science gallery and Perpetual Guardian Planetarium to wow visitors.


Moana Pool is open for swimming, its leisure, dive and spa pools are also open, as are its hydroslides. If you are into surfing, Dunedin has a wealth of beaches — from St Clair and St Kilda to Aramoana and Allans Beach — known for producing good waves.

Patti's & Cream ice cream.
Patti's & Cream ice cream.

Small-batch ice cream handmade in Dunedin is served from Betty the Bedford van, which is regularly parked at the Esplanade, in St Clair. Unique flavours include double-fold vanilla and doughnut berry ripple. Or if you prefer

something a little sweeter, Nova Cafe’s world famous in Dunedin injectable brioche doughnuts are available in salted caramel, chocolate hazelnut, bavarian apple, white chocolate, pistachio and rosewater flavours.


Now is the time to update our wardrobes with some cosy winter pieces. From designer boutiques — check-out Plume or Bellebird — to main street chains. plus there are plenty of options to find — fine merino to go under summer dresses or chunky cardigans to go over them, or wool dresses and jumpers for these frosty winter days.


Dunedin is renowned for its good coffee spots all around the city and for a more substantial meal whether you have a taste for ethnic — Italian, pizza, fine dining European, Turkish, fusion — burgers or local and fresh, the saying there is something for everyone runs true for Dunedin’s dining scene. From a cosy night out for two, family dinner or grabbing dinner on the run, there are plenty of options.


Dunedin Prison is a rare example of a purpose-built courtyard prison. Designed by John Campbell and built 1896. The Heritage NZ Category 1 listed building was operational until 2017 and is now looked after by the Dunedin Prison Trust. Tours will restart in November. It is just one of Dunedin’s historical buildings to have a look at in the central city, including the well-photographed Dunedin Railway Station and First Church.

Sandfly Bay.
Sandfly Bay.

Dunedin has some spectacular beaches if you have a few hours to kill and are reasonably fit, especially Sandfly Bay on Otago Peninsula which has awesome dunes to climb or you can take in the spectacular views from the top viewing platform. More easily accessible are Boulder Beach and Victory Beach further down the peninsula. At all there is a chance of seeing sea lions, seals or penguins.


There are plenty of options for going for a nice ‘‘Sunday’’drive from Dunedin but also just within the city. A nice afternoon out is a trip to Aramoana for a walk along the pier — try spotting a seal — stopping for lunch at Careys Bay Historic Hotel on the way there and maybe a coffee on the way back at Port Chalmers and a browse of the shops. In the other direction, head to Brighton for a walk along the beach and a coffee.

Dowling Street

Home to some of the city’s most popular art galleries Milford Gallery, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, the Artists Room and Brett McDowell Gallery and street art. All feature New Zealand artists work from the emerging and experimental artists at Blue Oyster to the more established at Milford Gallery. Within a couple of blocks are Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Gallery De Novo, RDS gallery which have just opened their first exhibitions post-Covid lockdown.

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