Car Rental Dunedin Airport
Experience a slice of Scotland in New Zealand. Dunedin, located in the lower South Island, is often referred to as the Edinburgh of the southern hemisphere – and the 127,000 locals are pretty proud of this comparison. Historic, compact, and charming is what it is. If you love heritage buildings, Dunedin has many of them. In fact, it boasts the most well-preserved Victorian and Edwardian streetscapes this side of the equator. The mansions, gothic spires, established gardens and ornate touches, are all thanks to the Gold Rush. A guided walking tour is a great way to experience its architecture and stories. The Otago Museum offers the best showcase of local, cultural and natural history. While other smaller museums, like the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, help to round out the picture.
Dunedin Airport is a 30-minute drive from the city centre in Momona. The airport offers direct flights to major New Zealand’s cities; and also to Brisbane, Australia. Head off in your hire car and you’ll find the landscape around Dunedin gorgeous at first sight. Dunedin sits at the end of a long, scenic harbour that stretches into the Pacific Ocean. Set in an old volcanic crater, surrounded by rolling green hills and dramatic sea-cliffs, the landscape is both beautiful and rugged. The water views are especially wonderful, and eco-tourism is a big drawcard.
The Otago Peninsula is a haven for wildlife. A popular attraction are the breeding penguin colonies. Watch rare yellow-eyed penguins and little blue penguins riding the surf and waddling to their burrows – beaks full, ready to feed their young. Fur seals, sea lions and albatross, plus other native species, also call the shores and cliffs around Dunedin home.
Discover delightful Dunedin behind the wheel of your hire car
You don’t have to travel far to enjoy the outdoors around Dunedin. Walks and bike trails wind through the city. If you’re a keen cyclist, why not try the iconic Otago Central Rail Trail (part of New Zealand’s Cycle Trail network). Make your way to Dunedin’s grand old train station with your bike and jump on board. Ride the old railway line between the friendly hinterland towns of Middlemarch and Clyde (start at either end). For the complete four-day cycling journey, book a tour to handle your luggage, and take advantage of the lodges and cafes along the way. Your trip will take you through the marvellous Taieri Gorge and the lush Taieri Plains.
Stick around in Central Otago and you’ll find that Middlemarch is a lovely, historic town and is definitely deserving of your holiday time. Just an hour from Dunedin, you can hike the Rock and Pillar Range overlooking the town. Fish for trout in the Taieri River. Visit New Zealand’s only salt lake and walk the same landscape featured in the Lord of the Rings. The remote grasslands of Te Papanui Conservation Park are also great for cross-country skiing, mountain biking and horse-riding.
Closer to base, Dunedin has some great beaches to explore. St Clair Beach offers white sands and surf just a few minutes from the heart of the city. Stroll the Esplanade and have your pick of the cafes and bars lining the beachfront. At the end, find the St Clair Hot Salt Water Pool, where locals have been enjoying warm seawater swims since 1884. Two kilometres south at Tunnel Beach, the shore is a little wilder and the caves, tunnels, rocky headlands and natural archways are fun to explore. You might even find a fossil on your way to the sheltered beach at the cliff base. Find other scenic beaches along the northern coastline, from Aramoana to Karitane.
Your hire car will help you experience all the beauty of Dunedin
Much more than the natural environment will catch your eye. Dunedin is well-known for its variety of gardens that make for wonderful holiday snaps. The tranquil Dunedin Chinese Gardens come with bridges and other lovely traditional features (courtesy of artisans from Shanghai). Have tea here in the courtyard, browse the gift shop, play puzzles, picnic, or simply unwind. Ten-minutes from the city, the Glenfalloch Gardens is a magical spot of colourful flowers, with a 1,000-year-old matai tree as the centrepiece. Glenfalloch also offers delicious food in the café and restaurant.
Dunedin has two Gardens of International Significance to impress garden lovers. For manicured lawns, designed hedges and more, put the restored Larnach Castle at the top of your list. Take high tea and enjoy excellent views across Otago peninsula at New Zealand’s only castle. To leave the best till last, Dunedin Botanic Gardens is a six-star significant garden that’s 150 years old. Its many thousands of plant species attract native birds and lots of visitors. After vacationing in this picturesque, Scottish-inspired city, you may think that Dunedin itself has six-star quality!