Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula, New Zealand

Dunedin, New Zealand is unlike most settlements in Australia and New Zealand as it was settled by Scottish as opposed to English immigrants. Originally they were going to name it New Edinburgh but settled on Dunedin; which is actually a derivation of Edinburgh’s Gaelic name. Today, Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula are teeming with life and wildlife and make for an interesting place to visit for a few days.
Dunedin, New Zealand, Otago Peninsula, Otago, beach
Dunedin is the one-time capital of New Zealand, when there was a gold rush in the 19th century. Today, Dunedin boasts around 140,000 residents and is a very pleasant place to be that feels much like most mid sized towns in Australia or New Zealand. It’s also a rugby crazy town with a brand new stadium that hosted some matches during the 2011 Rugby World Cup-won by New Zealand.
Dunedin, New Zealand, Otago Peninsula, Otago, railway station
The cities major landmarks are its railway station; the town hall in the Octagon-the center of town; and Baldwin Street, the worlds steepest road-who knew! There is also a main shopping street called George Street that is nice to walk around. However, the main thing that draws you to Dunedin is the nature that surrounds it.
Dunedin, New Zealand, Otago Peninsula, Otago, town hall
I joined the Azamara Quest cruise ship (my stateroom below) in Dunedin after driving in from Queenstown and before my bags were unpacked I was on a bus to the Otago Peninsula. The Otago Peninsula is a beautiful area with winding roads and steep hills that are full of wildlife. (I should also note there is a famous train trip to see the Taieri River Gorge; which I didn’t do due to time constraints but it’s supposed to be excellent)
Dunedin, New Zealand, Otago Peninsula, Otago, Azamara Quest, stateroom
Further along is Natures Wonders farm where I spent the majority of my time on the Otago Peninsula. It was pretty cloudy and had just rained which meant it was very muddy. Luckily they have these odd looking, but very impressive 8-wheel machines to take you around although I did get covered in mud regardless!
Dunedin, New Zealand, Otago Peninsula, Otago, Natures Wonder
The farm features sea lions, which had just had birthing season so there were a ton of babies walking around. Also, there were a crazy amount of birds including albatrosses. I’m not a birdie (aka a bird person) but albatrosses are pretty impressive to see in person with their massive wingspan.
Dunedin, New Zealand, Otago Peninsula, Otago, seals
But to me the most impressive part of the Otago Peninsula was the sheer natural beauty of the place. Its natural, unspoiled beauty is tough to beat. It’s as if there was a no humans rule on the beaches. On a clear day the views would be even more spectacular but even in the clouds, I was impressed.
Dunedin, New Zealand, Otago Peninsula, Otago
But that’s New Zealand. It’s one of the most beautiful places on Earth and I feel so lucky that I have the next week in this country to visit some old and new places. In 2003, I spent several weeks on both islands and I have been back a half dozen times since but always in and out of Auckland going other places in the pacific. So I am stoked to be back and look forward to sharing my journey on board the Azamara Quest with everyone!

Comments

  1. Dunedin’s a great town! The train station is gorgeous, and getting close to sea lions and penguins on the Otago Peninsula is truly special.

  2. The Otago was one of the highlights of my trip to New Zealand a few years ago. I don’t like cities so Dunedin was small enough to be manageable and the wildlife of the Otago made for great photos. I am a bit of a birdie as you say!

  3. izmir tabela says:

    good writes. i like pictures. I hope travel this city

  4. I love New Zealand and have loved following your trip on Facebook!

  5. New Zealand is #1 on my bucket list. I wish it weren\’t so far from the United States.

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