Dunedin New Zealand

For a touch of Scotland during your New Zealand vacation, you can head to the South Island for the country's fourth-largest city, Dunedin. Resting in the hills that surround Otago Harbor, Dunedin New Zealand is quite picturesque. This Scottish-heritage, university city offers a list of interesting architectural and cultural attractions, and the Otago Peninsula in which it is found is known world-wide for its wildlife reserves. Dunedin tourism is bolstered by the fact that the Dunedin hotels provide a variety of budgetary options. It also doesn't hurt that the Otago region is known for its breathtaking scenery. Dunedin experienced a period of great wealth during New Zealand's Victorian period, which resulted in the building of some of the city's most treasured architectural gems. Like anywhere else in New Zealand, a Dunedin vacation can see visitors enjoying an array of area activities and scenic adventures.

Dunedin New Zealand wasn't officially founded by the Free Church of Scotland until 1848, but Maori settlers had been here long since. Some archaeologists believe that the Maori, who play a key role in New Zealand history, first came to the Otago region around the year 1100 AD. Ancient sites show that permanent villages of sorts were common where present-day Dunedin is found, and by 1650, the Maori had established several fortified settlements in the area. In 1770, the famed British explorer, James Cook, stood on the Dunedin shores, bringing home news to others of seals and penguins he saw there. This brought sealers into town, and they were looking to benefit from the bounty to be had. This would lead to conflicts between the immigrants and the native Maori, especially in the years 1810 to 1823. Early European settlers would settle in the Otago area as early as 1815, with a whaling station being constructed in 1831. As was common during these times, the native Maori suffered significant losses from European-carried diseases, weakening their presence and influence in the region. Dunedin would have little trouble establishing itself as a whaling port of international acclaim thereafter.

When the Scottish founded Dunedin, they wanted to model it after their homeland capital, Edinburgh. This proved challenging because of the terrain, but what they did accomplish over time was nothing short of impressive. Dunedin became the Otago Province capital in 1852, and nine years later, the discovery of gold just southwest of the city led to considerable city growth. The population growth saw Dunedin become New Zealand's first real city, and immigrants arrived from a list of countries, such as France, Italy, Ireland and China. The University of Otago was founded in 1869, and it still continues to define much of the city's character to this day. Many wonderful university bars help to give the Dunedin nightlife a boost, and they can get pretty rowdy and rambunctious, should that be the scene you are after during your Dunedin trip. Getting back to Dunedin history, you can learn a great deal about all who settled here in the early days at the Otago Settlers Museum. The Otago Museum is another wonderful cultural attraction that you might add to your Dunedin travel plans. Established way back in 1868, it's one of the oldest and largest museums in New Zealand. It too focuses largely on those who came before.

Tours that highlight city attractions are a good way to familiarize yourself during your Dunedin vacation. You can choose to arrange your own walking or driving tours, or you can hire a guide to help fill you in on all you want to know. The Dunedin Railway Station is certainly worth checking out during your Dunedin trip. It was finished in 1906, and its architect, George A. Troup, was highly recognized for his efforts. As soon as you see this impressive Flemish Renaissance-style structure, you will know why. A great many other historic and visually-appealing buildings help to make Dunedin tourism popular, among them the Larnach Castle and the intriguing Ferntree House. After exploring town a bit, you'll likely be up for some pursuits that highlight the region's flora and fauna. Tours at Penguin Place are a special treat, and you can arrange them at the McGrouther Farm on Harrington Point Road. Since Dunedin is so far south, it can get especially cold here in the winter, but between the months of October and December, you can catch the flowers blooming at the Dunedin Botanic Gardens.

There are several wonderful beaches found near Dunedin, though the water is likely too cold to tempt you in. They are a joy to stroll, even if swimming might be out of the picture, and they can provide some stunning vistas. Sea kayaking is an ideal activity to add to your Dunedin trip if you are looking to mix sightseeing with exercise and adventure. Various fishing charters can help you organize a fun-filled fishing trip. Between October and April, the trout and salmon fishing at nearby Port Chalmers is sure to please any angler. The city visitor center is a Dunedin tourism treasure, as they can provide you with information on everything from mountain bike rides to area driving tours. There are many great guides in the Otago region who can help to make your Dunedin vacation more spectacular than you might have ever imagined. Maybe you'll be interested in taking a cruise along the Otago Peninsula, among the most popular of which combines a cruise and bus trip tour. Dunedin travel is surely alive and well, so plan your Dunedin vacation now, and see just how many different things you can get into here.

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