Make the most of your shore excursion in Dunedin, the oldest city in New Zealand, which boasts impressive natural beauty, rare wildlife and a rich history.
- Adult Ages 16+
- Child Ages 4-15, must be accompanied by an adult
Explore the Rugged Coast and Sweeping Panoramas
The amazing beaches of Dunedin are a must-see and will have you kicking off your shoes and dipping your toes into the perfect white sand and crisp waters. Thirteen million years ago, the coastline here convulsed with volcanic activity, and our small-group guided tour of Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula reveals this rugged coastline, stunning scenery and rare wildlife. This 75-mile scenic journey takes you to the best vantage points of the Otago Peninsula and back down to the bays and beaches that surround Dunedin.
Signal Hill Lookout & City Highlights
Signal Hill Lookout is our starting point for your half-day shore excursion of Dunedin. Before starting our 60-mile scenic journey, enjoy this vantage point of a landscape scattered with rock domes and vents now covered with pasture and forest.
Before hitting the coastal road, we admire the historical architecture of Dunedin, the oldest city in New Zealand. This city boasts the largest collection of Edwardian and Victorian structures, and we also visit Baldwin Street, the ‘steepest street in the world’, and the historic Dunedin Railway Station.
For another great vista before heading out the Peninsula, we head to Smails Beach with a lookout point where the southern rollers, surfers and stunning rock formations can be seen.
Otago Peninsula & Portobello
Winding along the coastal road, the journey continues out onto the Otago Peninsula, where you learn about the volcanic origin of Dunedin before exploring the remote southern parts of the headland.
For all you photographers out there, you’ll want your camera handy because this stretch of coast is what postcards are made of, and we make a quick stop to capture the unique, rare and always spectacular flora and fauna.
We rejoin the high road for stunning harbour views before descending into the tidal inlets, passing early drystone dyke walls and limekilns as we go.
Heading toward Portobello, the main township on the Otago Peninsula, we visit the Tidal Inlets — a birdwatcher’s paradise, though all will appreciate the history and important ecosystem. The scenic inlets are where kingfishers, herons and many other waders and waterfowl can be seen. However, it’s often the things you can’t see that have the greatest influence on this ecosystem’s function.
Wildlife Reserve and Sandy Beaches
We’re reaching our furthest point on this coastal exploration! We visit a wildlife reserve, where after a short walk, we spend 20 – 30 minutes looking for the rarest sea lion in the world — the NZ sea lion.
From here, we admire one of the Otago Peninsula’s most stunning beaches. Go for it — take off your shoes and feel the sand between your toes! On and offshore, amazing basalt rock formations can be seen up close, making for incredible photographs.
Wipe off that sand and snap another photo along the beach before we hit the low road back to Port Chalmers.