Port Chalmers is the gateway to Dunedin. Though this is a small town, it’s got a lot of character and some beautiful sites to see and easy hiking trails to do. The Otago Port, where the ship docks, is only a few 100m from town, so it’s easy to walk everywhere you want to go. There are some unique shops to see and beautiful old architecture. If you are up for more of a walk, you can walk on a flat gravel road along the coast, it will take about an hour at a leisurely pace with time to take photos as well. I would recommend doing this as you see the green hills of NZ all around you – I can’t get enough of it, it’s just so beautiful!
Dunedin is about 14km from Port Chalmers and is a little bigger. Here you will find lots to do! To get there, you can take a shuttle organized by the ship. Cruise ships has been coming to Dunedin for 50 years, so they know how to treat the passengers;) and they hand out a booklet on things to do (with a map of Dunedin), and some discount vouchers etc, at the port terminal. It is a quick 20min drive to Dunedin and the scenery is amazing! Here’s what we did with our day in Dunedin.
First (of course!!) we went to the Cadbury factory! One of the must see sites in Dunedin. It is recommended that you book beforehand if you want to do a tour, but if you are just there to buy all the chocolate you can afford, you can just pitch up 😉
Next, we went to Speight’s Brewery. We booked a tour ahead of time (recommended), and it was definitely worth it! Our guide gave us a good overview of the brewery’s history, including how Captain Cook and his men used spruce beer for ‘medicinal purposes’ (as an ‘anti-scorbuticum’). At the end of the tour you get to taste all the beers they make, and you can even pour your own draught using the draught machine! All in all, a fun and interesting experience.
The rest of the day we spent walking around town, just taking in the beautiful streets of Dunedin. At the centre of town is the Octagon. Here you will find many restaurants to choose from, and this is also where the shuttle stops.
Other sites to visit include the beautiful Dunedin Railway Station and The World’s Steepest Street!
Dunedin was the very first town in NZ. It was founded by the Scotts, and named Dunedin after Edinburgh. Everywhere you walk you can see the Scottish architecture, well maintained after all these years. The fact that Dunedin also has the magnificent green hills around town, adds to the feeling of being in Scotland.