Make sure to plan a trip to New Zealand’s second-largest city in the South Island – Dunedin. Sometimes referred to as NZ’s Edinburgh, this coastal city has an interesting mesh of Scottish and Maori heritage.
There’s also a wide selection of family-friendly activities for those looking to entertain the little ones. We list some of the top picks to ensure mum and dad get some relaxation out of their holiday too.
With the perfect blend of education and fun, Otago Museum is an ideal compromise between parents and kids. Start off with the impressive range of galleries, displays and exhibitions on offer, and then once the kids’ patience runs out, you can quickly whisk them over to the Science Centre. Here you’ll be able to entertain them with the Tuhura Tropical Forest and the fascinating Perpetual Guardian Planetarium.
Dunedin Botanic Gardens
Lose yourself in the 30+ hectares of stunning parkland that is the Dunedin Botanic Gardens and explore the carefully curated collections of native and exotic flora. There are also many excellent stretches of grassy lawn perfect for a family picnic (should the weather permit). Otherwise, you can spend hours exploring the rose gardens and aviaries or letting the kids run rampant on the playground. Dunedin’s summer climate is near perfect for mountain biking. The mild temperatures and late setting sun mean you can comfortably ride for hours along the many trails that crisscross the Otago Peninsula and surrounds.
One of the most popular trails is the Otago Central Rail Trail that stretches 150 kilometres between Middlemarch and Clyde, following the old Otago Central Railway route.
Oamaru Penguin Colony
Get an up-close and personal glimpse of Dunedin’s incredible wildlife at the Oamaru Penguin colony. Make sure to dress everyone in the tribe warmly as you learn all about the little Blue Penguins that call the sanctuary home. If you’re a real penguin fanatic (who isn’t, right?), you can also visit Penguin Place to learn everything there is to know about the endangered yellow-eyed penguin. Dunedin truly is a fisherman’s dream. Just a short stroll from the city centre you can find numerous spots to partake in a little fly-fishing and sea fishing. The city’s low-lying tidal beds and natural harbour also means other types of seafood can be found in abundance. For freshwater fisherman, there are many lagoons and dams in the nearby area where you can snag a salmon, trout and other freshwater species.
Orokonui Eco Sanctuary
If your kids haven’t had their wildlife fix just yet, you can take them to this much-loved eco-sanctuary. This protected slice of native forest offers an eye-opening glimpse into what New Zealand’s natural landscape would look like before colonisation and logging dramatically altered the ecosystem.
Here, your kids will get a chance to spy some of New Zealand’s rarest birdlife, including the previously thought to be extinct Takahe. There are also many holiday programs available, allowing your little ones to make interesting crafts, get involved with the wildlife and learn about science.
Transport the family in comfort
Make the most of your family adventure in Dunedin by taking advantage of a rental vehicle. Here at Ace Rental Cars, we have a range of family-friendly vehicles that are perfect for tribes both big and small.
Ace Rental Cars Dunedin Airport Location
Get directions to our Ace location and start your trip
Freephone: 0800 502 277 Phone: +64 3 477 7385 Email: Dairport@acerentals.co.nz
Office Hours: Open Sun - Fri 8am to 8:30pm, Sat 8am to 6:30pm (closed Christmas Day)