Dunedin, the second largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, has Scottish roots and a rich heritage embedded into its fabric. From gothic churches, stately estate houses, public buildings such as courts and railway station, through to the iconic Speight’s brewery, there are plenty of opportunities for photography and to learn about the city’s past. Here are some of the best architectural spots to explore with your Dunedin Airport car rental.
A must see for any visitor to Dunedin, Larnach Castle is perched high above the harbour with spectacular views over the city and the Otago peninsula. This Victorian estate – the only castle in New Zealand – is well over a century old. Its sprawling grounds and immaculate gardens have earned it the honour of Garden of International Significance. It’s impressive inside as well as outside – don’t miss the ballroom – and stop in for high tea if you have time.
Olveston House is just a short distance from Dunedin city, built in the Jacobean style and harking back to early New Zealand settler life. This historic 35 room home, with its Edwardian design and one acre garden was originally created for a merchant and his family in the early 1900s.
Perhaps the South Island’s most famous brew, the ‘Pride of the South’ has been concocted here in Dunedin since 1876 and became the country’s largest brewery just a decade later. Take a tour of the Speight’s brewery and then enjoy a meal and a drink at the Speight’s ale house while you’re at it. Both the Dunedin brewery and ale house are on Rattray Street near the Octagon.
Built in 1906 during the rail boom, the Dunedin Railway Station at Anzac Square is recognised as an icon of Edwardian architecture in New Zealand and one of the country’s most photographed buildings. Note the stained glass windows depicting locomotives, the lush gardens, the intricate architectural detail and the structure’s arches.
Another excellent example of Gothic architecture is this civic building, opened in 1902 and designed by John Campbell. It was built on the site of an old jail. The courts are on Lower Stuart St in the city.
Dunedin’s second jail was completed in 1898, also designed by Campbell in a similar vein to Scotland Yard in London. The contrasting colours and superb detail are an Edwardian triumph.