Dunedin is a port city (New Zealand's southernmost) located inside the Otago Harbor. Its boundaries are the Otago Peninsula (southern side) and the Larnach Castle. The city is often nicknamed "Edinburgh of the South" because it resembles the Scottish city Edinburgh. It attracts cruise passengers with interesting city tours and day trips. Popular overnight trip is Milford Sound (via Queenstown).
The city is compact and its most popular tourist attractions are in The Octagon area (city center). There is a tourist info office, a post office and many different kinds of stores. There are two main streets - George Str (direction North form the Octagon) and Princes Str (direction South form the Octagon).
- In 2016, Port Chalmers' cruise schedule included a total of 87 ship calls and around 250,000 passengers. Among the visiting vessels was the largest ever cruise ship to New Zealand - the RCI Royal Caribbean liner Ovation of the Seas.
- Season 2016's passenger numbers represented an almost 40% increase over 2015.
- For season 2016, Port Dunedin made a 'serious investment to improve its cruise facilities, including construction of a permanent passenger terminal building (housing info centre, lounge area / free Wi-Fi, restrooms), also installing 6 new bollards (short vertical posts used for ship mooring / each holds 150 tons as opposed to the old bollards' 70 tons per post) plus two ''breast line'' bollards to allow the port to berth larger vessels.
- For season 2018, Stats NZ reported city's cruise spending topped USD 60 million (26% increase over 2017) and total handled passengers ~238,000 (32% increase over 2017's 58,000).
Dunedin cruise terminal
Smaller cruise ships in Dunedin dock on a wharf located approx 1 km / 0,6 ml from The Octagon (city center). Larger vessels dock at a pier in Port Chalmers, located approx 15 km / 9 ml from the city. A shuttle bus service (at additional charge) is provided for passenger transportation between the cruise port and the city center. Travel time is approx 30-min on a road that parallels the coast of the bay.
Dunedin cruise ship terminal is at Port Chalmers (on the above photo). - a small town inside the Otago Harbour, with population around 3,000. At the terminal there is an i-SITE information center and also a taxi rank.
Dunedin tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Larnach Castle: it dates from 1871. It is the only castle in New Zealand. It is named after Australian manager of the Bank of Otago, William Larnach.
- Royal Albatross Colony: located 30km from Dunedin cruise port, it is at Taiaroa Head (peninsula’s end).
- Olveston House: built for David Theomin, famous businessman, the Jacobean-style house dates from 1906. It is surrounded by beautiful garden and houses paintings and antiques collected by Mr Theomin during his travels around the world.
- Railway Station / Otago Settlers’ Museum: located down towards the Dunedin harbor. The building of the railway station is impressive with its tower with copper cap. At each corner there is a heraldic lion. The Otago Settlers’ Museum is in adjacent.
- Octagon: the Dunedin center. It has eight sides and it is the start of all tour walks. Here is the Robert Burns’ statue, the Town Hall (behind the statue) and the Anglican Cathedral St Paul’s.
- Taieri Gorge: the most popular Railway excursion will show you four hours of breathtaking scenery to the central part of Otago and back through the rugged mountain.
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