Dunedin is located on the southeast coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It is a city nestled in the hills alongside a breathtaking harbour. Dunedin is the gateway to the beautiful Otago region with endless outdoor adventures awaiting. Dunedin is rich in history, wildlife, and landscapes.
With a population of more than 120,000 (25,000 students!), Dunedin is an exciting home-away-from-home where it is easy to meet new friends from all around the world.
New Zealand is a multicultural South Pacific nation. Aotearoa is its Māori name. The Māori, New Zealand’s indigenous population, migrated from Polynesia approximately 1,000 years ago. They comprise 14% of New Zealand’s population. The majority of New Zealanders are of British and Irish heritage, but other European influences are noticeable. In more recent years a large number of Pacific Islanders have come to live here from countries such as Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. There are also large numbers of other nationalities, including recent Asian and European immigrants, who make up New Zealand’s 3.8 million population.
New Zealand covers approximately the same area as Great Britain, making it one of the least crowded countries in the world and a haven for peace and relaxation. New Zealanders are friendly, easy-going people. They welcome visitors warmly and are interested in meeting those from other cultures who come to enjoy what New Zealand has to offer.
- Dunedin is the Celtic name for Edinburgh
- Home to the world’s rarest penguin (yellow-eyed penguin)
- Affordable living
Dunedin has maritime weather and is home to some cooler temperatures (the warmest month being January and the coldest being July). Dunedin has four seasons, each with their own distinctive beauty. There’s some frost in winter and very occasional snowfalls which usually clear during the day. You’ll want to wear layers and pack your winter jacket for the cooler months. Not to worry, the scenery makes up for the lack of heat!
Spring (September – November) 7°C to 17°C
Summer (December – February) 14°C to 26°C
Fall (March – May) 6°C to 16°C
Winter (June – August) 4°C to 12°C
Getting Around Dunedin
The main campus of the University of Otago is located in Dunedin, close to all of Dunedin’s cafés, music venues, designer boutiques, stores, museums and galleries. The vast majority of courses are offered here, including the only dental school in the country.
Dunedin is easy to get around as it’s a smaller city, and the main way is by public transport. The bus system is reliable and affordable. Purchasing a bike might be helpful—but keep in mind it’s very hilly! There are frequent arrivals from Christchurch, Queenstown, and Invercargill from reputable bus companies. Contact the Dunedin i-SITE Visitor Centre to enquire further and to make a booking.
The centre of Dunedin lies within a circle of hills broken only by the Otago Harbour and the Ocean Beach, (better known as St Clair and St Kilda beaches). Here are the closest suburbs to the University of Otago:
- Dunedin North (Otago Uni is here)
- North East Valley
- Dunedin City
Get Around Town
- Driving (get your NZ driver’s license)
- Cycling rules
What to see and do in Dunedin?
So what do OzTREKK students say?
If you’re like us, you might enjoy those gorgeous travel blogs, interesting podcasts, and social media influencers who test things out to let you know if they’re worth the money.
Here are a few people to follow:
- For the train hopper @dunedinrailways
- For the tourists @dunedinnz
- For the foodie @dunedinfood
- Explore the Otago Peninsula
- Stargaze and spot the Southern Lights
- Ride the Otago Trail
- Admire the architecture at Dunedin’s famous Railway Station
- Have a historic and fancy experience at the Larnach Castle
- Check out the amazing shoreline at Tunnel Beach
- Invite a new friend to Speight’s Brewery
- Make some new pals at the Penguin Place
- Take a day trip to Port Chalmers for some port-side treats (for your mouth and your eyes!)
- Do a hot spring road trip around NZ and hit up these ‘gifts from the earth’
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