Dunedin, New Zealand
The peaceful suburb of Port Chalmers is the harbour gateway to Dunedin and the beautiful surrounding area. Dunedin city itself is known for its exquisite architecture and the jaw-dropping steep hills that surround it. You’ll be greeted by examples of nature’s beauty regardless of which direction you look in Dunedin.
Dunedin is also renowned for its interesting wildlife population, including albatrosses, fur seals, and rare penguins. The nearby beaches are spectacular, with the region being home to some of New Zealand’s finest examples of coastal beauty.
As one of the world’s greatest ‘small cities’, Dunedin also offers visitors an impressive range of quality restaurants and cafés, as well as many cultural and shopping opportunities.
Port Chalmers was New Zealand’s first point of export trade. In 1882, a cargo ship departed from the port and arrived in Great Britain months later, signalling a successful shipping trade route. The area is now well known for its cultural attractions and is a hub for artists, craftspeople and designers.
Port Chalmers sits snugly in the Otago Harbour in the south-east corner of New Zealand’s beautiful south island.
The attractions of Port Chalmers are within walking distance from the wharf where passengers disembark.
- An information kiosk with maps
- An ATM
- A supermarket
- Souvenir shopping
- Friendly local tourism staff.
How to Get Around
There are shuttles and public buses available to transport arriving passengers from Port Chalmers to Dunedin. Public buses depart from the corner of Harrington, Fox and Meridian Streets and should cost less than NZD$6.40 each way. There are plenty of taxis available from the pier as well. The trip should cost you between NZD$35 and NZD$45.
Travel times from the port:
- It is a 16 minute journey to Dunedin by car
- It is a 40 minute journey to Dunedin Airport by car.
- It is a 30 minute journey to Dunedin by bus
- It is a 1 hour and 17 minute journey to Dunedin Airport by bus.
Once in Dunedin, walking will get you to most places of interest; however, taxis are plentiful within the city. There are also numerous public buses that depart from the city centre to various sections of Dunedin.
- Currency - The currency used in Dunedin is the New Zealand dollar, with denominations identical to those in Australia. Coins come in $1, $2, 10, 20 and 50 cent denominations. Notes come in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations. Credit cards are widely accepted throughout New Zealand, so you should only need minimal cash, which can be easily withdrawn at ATMs or exchanged.
- Time Zone – Dunedin is on New Zealand Standard Time, which is 12 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). From late September to early April, Dunedin changes to daylight savings time, putting them an extra hour ahead (UTC+13:00).
- Weather – Dunedin experiences the conventional seasons, with winter being quite cold and humidity being fairly low year-round. Temperatures rarely get higher than 30 degrees Celsius, even in summer when the average temperature is around 22 degrees Celsius. If you can tolerate the colder weather, June-October is the best time of year to visit, as it will be much quieter.
- Culture – With some of New Zealand’s best museums and galleries, Dunedin is a cultural hub where those with curious minds will find endless hours of entertainment and intrigue. In particular, Otago Museum and the Public Art Gallery are buildings that deliver outstanding displays of the area’s rich history and creative talent.
- Botanic Gardens – Take a break in the serene and gorgeous Botanic Garden. The oldest of its kind in the country and home to over 6,800 plant species, Dunedin Botanic Garden is a stunning and peaceful piece of paradise. Native birds are housed in an on-site aviary, while there is a café and information centre from which you can get free bird food.
- A Factory and/or Brewery Tour – Chocolate lovers will undoubtedly find themselves touring the local Cadbury chocolate factory, which is an educational (and delicious) experience that will indulge all your senses. There is also the historic Speight’s brewery, where you can take an interactive tour of the beer-production facility that has been in operation since 1876.
- The Local Animals – The Otago Peninsula is renowned for its eco-tourism. It’s a place where you can discover and photograph a diverse and unique range of wildlife, including albatrosses and other birds, penguins, and seals. The Royal Albatross Centre, located at Taiaroa Head, offers a number of wildlife tours, not to mention stunning coastal views.