Explore Dunedin’s Historical Treasures

Built largely in the height of the Gold Rush era, Dunedin has one of the most spectacular collections of Edwardian and Victorian architecture to explore. If you’re a history lover and want to immerse yourself in the elegant past, these historical sites are sure to impress.

Larnach Castle

On the Otago Peninsula on the outskirts of Dunedin is New Zealand’s only castle, built in 1871. With a variety of scandalous and tragic stories in its history (which you can hear all about on one of their exploratory tours) it also boasts spectacular panoramic views from the tower and a lovingly restored interior in Victorian style begun in the 1960s. If you’d like to make the castle your home for a night or two, there’s plenty of options from luxurious suites in the castle itself to more budget friendly “stable stay” options. For your very own “Austenland” or “Downton Abbey” experience you can dine in the castle as well – traditional meals in the grand dining room happen with local chefs showing off their mastery of a modern interpretation of Victorian era cuisine.

Olveston Historic Home & Theomin Gallery

Offering a unique glimpse into an historic home that has remained largely unchanged since the 1960s, Olveston sits in the heart of Dunedin surrounded by a beautiful heritage-listed Garden of National Significance. For art lovers, the Theomin Gallery is also housed within – Edward Theomin, the original owner of the home was a prominent patron of the arts during his lifetime and collected one of the world’s most distinguished collections of New Zealand art of the time. To really get in the spirit of things, you can also enjoy a croquet lesson delivered by a championship player and then enjoy a traditional afternoon picnic tea.

Six Feet Under Cemetery Tour

If a deliciously spooky experience is your cup of tea, then summon up your bravery and join this Dunedin Cemetery Tour – conducted by lamplight, it’s full of chilling stories designed to send a shiver down your spine. Thrill in the gory and macabre tales on offer and hear about some of Dunedin’s most interesting and notorious historical residents while you visit their final resting places. You’ll need a hot drink after this unforgettably chilling experience.

Fletcher House

On a rather more modest scale, the charming Edwardian Villa Fletcher house offers an intriguing glimpse into this elegant period of history. Rent a bicycle and enjoy all the natural beauty of the Otago Peninsula while you’re in the area, and keep your camera handy – their annual photographic competition has some great prizes on offer for a lucky tourist with a good eye.

Dunedin is undoubtedly a town that celebrates its past as it progresses into the future, and is sure to provide you with a warm welcome during your stay.