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Dunedin & Central Otago

A New Zealand campervan holiday to Dunedin and Central Otago offers a truly unique travel experience. Situated on the southeastern coast of the South Island, Dunedin is known for its Scottish heritage and Victorian and Edwardian architecture, while Central Otago, a short drive inland, offers dramatic landscapes characterised by rugged mountains, rolling plains, and crystal-clear lakes. Dunedin is a city that prides itself on its educational and cultural richness, home to the prestigious University of Otago and an array of museums and galleries. Dunedin’s weather can be cooler than other parts of New Zealand, with crisp, clear days perfect for exploring the historic streets or nearby natural attractions.

Central Otago offers a stark contrast with its semi-arid terrain, making it perfect for outdoor activities such as biking along the Otago Central Rail Trail and wine tasting at some of New Zealand's highest altitude vineyards. The region's dry climate and dramatic seasonal changes serve as a stunning backdrop for adventure and relaxation alike. Park up overnight in a Dunedin holiday park or find a secluded spot near one of Central Otago's picturesque lakes. With the convenience of your campervan, you can comfortably switch between urban exploration in Dunedin and remote escapes in the wilds of Otago. Whether you're drawn to Dunedin's cultural scene or the rugged beauty of Otago’s outdoors, this region promises a memorable experience.

 

Why explore Dunedin & Central Otago by campervan

Exploring Dunedin and Central Otago by campervan is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the region's unique blend of cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty. With a campervan, you dictate the pace and path of your journey. In Dunedin, you can easily navigate from the bustling shopping centre to quiet, windswept beaches along the Otago Peninsula. In Central Otago, the freedom to roam allows you to discover hidden gems, from secluded vineyards to historic gold mining towns, all at your own pace. The ability to spontaneously decide where to go next, from a morning exploring Dunedin’s architectural marvels to an afternoon tasting pinot noirs amidst the hills of Central Otago, is a true luxury.

Travelling by campervan not only offers all the comforts of home, including your own kitchen, bed, and living space but also saves you the hassle of packing and unpacking at each new destination. Plus, having your own facilities means you’re never far from a homecooked meal or a comfortable bed, even if you find yourself in the remote reaches of the region.

 

Things to do in Dunedin & Central Otago

Dunedin and Central Otago abound with diverse attractions, blending rich history with exhilarating outdoor pursuits and gourmet experiences. In Dunedin, discover the opulence of Larnach Castle or engage with local history at the Toitū Otago Settlers Museum. For wildlife lovers, the area offers close encounters with unique species like the yellow-eyed penguin. Moving inland to Central Otago, you can hit the scenic cycle trails, savour exquisite pinot noirs at local vineyards, or try gold panning in Cromwell. Activities like water sports on Lake Dunstan also offer plenty of thrills, ensuring every traveller finds something to cherish.

15 Must Do's in New Zealand’s South Island 15 Must Do's in New Zealand’s South Island

15 Must Do's in New Zealand’s South Island

    An Apollo campervan offers you the freedom to create your own travel itinerary. From whale watching in Kaikoura to southern...
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Popular Dunedin & Central Otago road trips & itineraries

Dunedin and Central Otago, situated in the southern part of New Zealand's South Island, are regions steeped in natural beauty and cultural richness. Travelling by campervan allows you to freely explore the varied landscapes – from Dunedin’s rugged coastline to Central Otago’s golden hills – and discover a network of routes dotted with historical sites, quaint towns, and scenic camping spots. Whether cruising through Dunedin’s architectural marvels or winding through the vineyard-clad valleys of Central Otago, each journey is an invitation to delve deeper into the heart of the south. 

14-day New Zealand family campervan itinerary
Alyssa Tresider
/ Categories: NZ Itineraries

14-day New Zealand family campervan itinerary.

A campervan road trip around New Zealand is a bucket list experience for many. And for kids, it’s a holiday they’re sure to remember for years to come. In this ultimate 14-day New Zealand road trip, you’ll kick off your adventure in Queenstown and make your way up the country to Auckland. Along the way, you’ll tick off some of the best highlights and hidden gems New Zealand has to offer. It's undoubtedly one of the best New Zealand road trips for families, with loads to see and do for all ages. Ready to start planning your family campervan holiday? Let’s dive in!

 

Travel: 14 days

Route: Queenstown to Auckland 

Best time of the year: Anytime

Highlights: 

  • Grab an iconic Instagram shot of That Wānaka Tree

  • Marvel at the breathtaking vistas at Franz Josef Glacier

  • Immerse yourself in local arts and savour exquisite wines in Nelson and Blenheim

  • Witness the spectacular Marlborough Sounds on the Cook Strait Ferry Crossing

  • Explore New Zealand's rich stories at Te Papa Museum

  • Traverse dramatic volcanic landscapes at Tongariro National Park

  • Relive the magic of Middle-earth with a stroll through Hobbiton 

  • Experience the beauty of Hamilton Gardens

  • Take in sweeping views of Auckland at Sky Tower

 

Day 1: Queenstown to Wānaka

Travel time: 1 hr 30 mins

Distance: 111 km (via State Highway 6. Please note, campervans are not permitted to travel on Crown Range Road)

Day one of your ultimate 14-day New Zealand road trip starts at our Apollo Queenstown branch where you’ll be met by our friendly team as you pick up your pre-booked campervan hire. We’ll get you set up and ready for the road with everything you need to know about your campervan hire. 

Relax and take your time today as you enjoy a scenic 1.5-hour drive to the alpine village of Wānaka. One of the (many) beautiful towns of the South Island, Wānaka is surrounded by captivating scenery. A must-do while you’re here is to see and photograph That Wānaka Tree. Make the most of your stay here by exploring some of the nearby walks and trails and enjoying the great eateries. For a fun activity the whole family will enjoy, head to Puzzling World. This world of weirdness is packed with fun things to do. Figure out the crazy optical illusions, explore the mazes and visit the famously fascinating loos!

Settle in for the night at the Wanaka TOP 10 Holiday Park, known for its excellent facilities and prime location close to the lake.

TOP TIP: Kids a bit restless? Check out our guide on how to entertain kids in a camper

Image: Tourism New Zealand

 

Day 2: Wānaka to Franz Josef Glacier

Distance: 284 km

Travel time: 4 hours

The journey from Wānaka to Franz Josef Glacier is one of the most visually stunning segments of your New Zealand road trip. As you traverse the West Coast, the drive unveils dramatic changes in the landscape, from lush forests to rugged mountain views, encapsulating the raw beauty of New Zealand's wilderness.

Make a point to stop at the Blue Pools Track along the way. This easy walk leads you to crystal-clear waters framed by native bush, offering a refreshing break and fantastic photographic opportunities. 

Another worthy pause is Hokitika, a charming town renowned for its arts and crafts. A stroll through the town during lunch allows you to experience its creative spirit and perhaps find a unique piece of pounamu (New Zealand jade) to take home.

As you arrive in Franz Josef, immerse yourself in the grandeur of its namesake glacier. Opt for a guided tour on the ice or take to the skies with a scenic flight that offers panoramic views of this frozen wonderland. For a more relaxing end to your day, visit the Glacier Hot Pools. These natural thermal pools, set amidst dense rainforest, provide a serene environment to unwind and reflect on the day’s adventures.

Enjoy a cosy night at Franz Josef TOP 10 Holiday Park, it’s the perfect spot to rest and recharge for another day of exploration.

Image: Tourism New Zealand

 

Day 3: Franz Josef Glacier to Punakaiki

Distance: 217 km

Travel time: 2 hours, 50 mins

On day three, your New Zealand road trip takes you from Franz Josef to Punakaiki with more awe-inspiring coastal views and the chance to see dense, native rainforests that line the rugged West Coast. 

Plan a lunch break at Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast. This town offers a deep dive into the region's mining history and a chance to explore its heritage. 

When you arrive in Punakaiki, prepare to be amazed by the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. These unique geological formations resemble giant stacks of pancakes and have been shaped over millions of years by the relentless forces of wind and water. The best time to visit is at high tide when the sea surges into the caverns below the rocks, forcing jets of water skyward through the blowholes in a dramatic display.

For your overnight stay, the Punakaiki Beach Camp offers a scenic spot to relax by the ocean. 

 

Day 4: Punakaiki to Nelson

Distance: 263 km

Travel time: 3 hours, 50 mins

Day four of your NZ road trip takes you from Punakaiki to Nelson. As you travel eastward, enjoy the stunning contrasts from dense rainforests to the rugged, scenic shoreline, before heading into the sunnier regions of Nelson. 

Along the way, stop and stretch your legs in Westport, a cosy coastal town perfect for a morning tea break. Take time to browse the local shops and galleries, which offer a range of unique artisan crafts and artworks, giving you a taste of the local culture and creativity.

In Nelson, known as the sunniest city in New Zealand, immerse yourself in the local art scene by visiting some of the top galleries and studios. You might like to plan a dinner of fish and chips on Tahunanui Beach tonight. Relax and enjoy the scene as the sunset paints the sky with colours that reflect beautifully over Tasman Bay.

For your stay tonight, park up at Nelson City TOP 10 Holiday Park, conveniently located close to both the city’s bustling centre and the beautiful beach. 

 

Day 5: Explore Nelson

You’re almost halfway through your ultimate New Zealand road trip, so enjoy a pause today to explore more of the charming city of Nelson. 

Start with a trip to the Nelson Provincial Museum. It's a great place to check out regional history with exhibits that are easy for kids to enjoy too. The museum does a fantastic job of making the geological, cultural, and social stories of the area engaging for visitors of all ages.

If you’re looking for a bit more outdoor fun, Natureland Zoo is perfect, especially for younger kids. Located near Tahunanui Beach, the zoo is all about conservation and education, offering kids the chance to meet a mix of native and exotic animals up close.

Or, if you’re in the mood for some quiet time, take a walk through the Miyazu Japanese Garden. The gardens are peaceful and well-maintained, making them an ideal spot for a family picnic.

Enjoy another night at the Nelson TOP 10 Holiday Park. 

Image: Tourism New Zealand

 

Day 6: Nelson to Blenheim

Distance: 118 km

Travel time: 1 hour, 40 mins

Today your road trip takes you from Nelson to Blenheim, guiding you through some of the most picturesque parts of the Marlborough region. This drive is shorter, allowing plenty of time for stops and exploration along the way.

A must-visit stop is Havelock, known as the greenshell mussel capital of the world. Take advantage of this by having lunch at The Mussel Pot, a cosy spot that specialises in fresh, locally sourced mussels cooked in a variety of delicious ways. After lunch, spend some time wandering around Havelock. The town may be small, but it's full of charm and a great place to stretch your legs and enjoy the scenic views.

Once you arrive in Blenheim, there’s plenty to keep you busy for the afternoon. Start with a visit to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, an internationally renowned museum that features dramatic displays of WWI and WWII aircraft. 

For a family-friendly outing, consider visiting one of Blenheim’s renowned vineyards. Many wineries in the region offer tours that are interesting for adults and accommodating for children. 

Finish up your day at the Blenheim Bridges Holiday Park. It's a great base to relax after a day of touring and tasting and prepare for more adventures ahead.

 

Day 7: Blenheim to Wellington

Distance: 157 km 

Travel time: 5 hours, including ferry crossing

Today is the halfway point of your New Zealand travel itinerary, taking you from the South Island and kicking off your North Island road trip. 

Start your day by taking the short drive from Blenheim to the quaint town of Picton, which serves as your gateway to the Cook Strait. In Picton, take some time to explore this charming coastal town. Walk along the marina, browse the local shops, and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere before you board your ferry. 

The Cook Strait ferry crossing is a highlight of any NZ road trip. The journey offers stunning views of the Marlborough Sounds and the sea passage itself. Relax and enjoy the 3.5-hour crossing by taking in the views, watching a movie in the lounge, or having a bite to eat in the café. 

Once you arrive in Wellington, immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of New Zealand’s capital city. A must-visit is Te Papa Tongarewa, the national museum of New Zealand. This world-class museum offers fascinating exhibits that span New Zealand's historical, cultural, and natural heritage, making it a captivating experience for visitors of all ages.

For your stay in Wellington, book a few nights at Wellington's Kiwi Holiday Park. This holiday park offers a comfortable and convenient base to explore more of what Wellington has to offer, with easy access to the city's major attractions.

 

Day 8: Explore Wellington

Celebrated for its vibrant arts scene, stunning landscapes, and rich history, the city of Wellington is the perfect place to explore by campervan. So, let’s take another day to check out some of the highlights. 

Kick off your morning with a ride on the iconic Wellington Cable Car, which not only provides a fun start to the day but also offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and harbour. Once at the top, explore the Wellington Botanic Garden.

Afterwards, make your way to the Wellington Waterfront, an ideal spot for a morning walk along the harbour. This vibrant area is bustling with cafes, parks, and intriguing art installations, providing a picturesque setting to relax and people-watch.

For lunch, head over to Cuba Street, Wellington’s bohemian quarter. Known for its eclectic mix of vintage shops, unique cafes, and vibrant street art, Cuba Street has loads of great dining options ranging from quick eats to gourmet experiences, all set in a lively atmosphere.

In the afternoon, treat the family to a Weta Workshop visit. This cool Wellington attraction offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how movie magic is made, with an up-close view of intricate props, costumes, and creatures from blockbuster films.

Finish your day back at Wellington's Kiwi Holiday Park.

READ MORE: Family friendly things to do in Wellington.

Image: Tourism New Zealand

 

Day 9: Wellington to Tongariro National Park

Distance: 331 km

Travel time: 4 hours, 20 mins 

Day nine of your New Zealand road trip takes you from the coastal charms of Wellington to the rugged beauty of Tongariro National Park. 

As you make your way to Tongariro, be sure to plan a stop in Whanganui, a town rich with cultural heritage and beautiful riverfront views. Take a break here for lunch and spend some time exploring its historic sites and vibrant arts scene. The Whanganui River provides a stunning backdrop for a relaxing break and is perfect for a leisurely walk along the riverbank to stretch your legs.

Once you arrive at Tongariro National Park, prepare for some of the most breathtaking scenery New Zealand has to offer. The park, a dual World Heritage site, is famed for its stunning natural beauty and diverse hiking trails. Take advantage of the numerous scenic walks available, ranging from short, easy strolls to more challenging hikes that offer spectacular views of the volcanic landscape.

For your overnight stay, Tongariro Holiday Park offers a comfortable and convenient base close to the park’s main attractions. 

 

Day 10: Tongariro National Park to Rotorua

Distance: 170 km

Travel time: 2 hours, 10 mins 

Today you’ll be leaving the majestic Tongariro National Park as you head further north to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua. 

A lovely midway stop is the town of Taupō, nestled on the shores of the vast Lake Taupō, New Zealand's largest lake. Break for lunch here and take in the stunning views of the lake and the mountains beyond. The lakefront is perfect for a relaxing break, with plenty of cafes and restaurants offering scenic dining experiences.

Once in Rotorua, there are plenty of family friendly activities to enjoy. A good option for the afternoon is a visit to Agrodome, where you can experience a fun and educational farm show, showcasing sheep shearing and dog trials. Families can also get stuck in with hands-on activities like feeding lambs or even a farm tour. 

Another great option is the Rainbow Springs Nature Park, which offers a chance to learn about New Zealand's native wildlife, including the opportunity to see New Zealand’s elusive kiwi. 

For your stay in Rotorua, settle in at the Rotorua Blue Lake TOP 10 Holiday Park

 

Day 11: Explore Rotorua

Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s top destinations for families on a campervan road trip. And today you’ll have a full day to make the most of this geothermal gem. 

Kick things off at Skyline Rotorua. To get there, you’ll hop on a gondola and head up Mount Ngongotaha – the views as you climb skyward are stunning! Once you're up there, you can zip down the luge tracks, swing high on the Skyswing, or if you’re feeling sporty, hit the mountain biking trails. It’s a fantastic way to start your day with a bit of adrenaline.

Next up is Te Puia, where you can check out the famous Pohutu Geyser and immerse yourself in Māori culture. They’ve got everything from live carving and weaving demonstrations to storytelling and a powerful cultural performance. It’s a great place to connect with New Zealand’s heritage.

When you’re ready to unwind, head over to the Polynesian Spa. Treat yourself to a soak in their hot mineral pools with a view of the lake – it’s pure bliss and the perfect way to recharge.

In the afternoon, why not take a walk through the treetops at the Redwoods Treewalk? This walkway lifts you high above the forest floor among ancient trees. It’s both peaceful and pretty impressive.

Enjoy another night tonight at Rotorua Blue Lake TOP 10 Holiday Park.

READ MORE: Family friendly things to do in Rotorua

Image: Tourism New Zealand

 

Day 12: Rotorua to Matamata

Distance: 94 km

Travel time: 1 hour, 25 mins 

Day 12 of your New Zealand road trip moves you from the bubbling hot pools and adventure of Rotorua to the charming rural town of Matamata – also known as Middle Earth!  

The star attraction in Matamata is undoubtedly the Hobbiton Movie Set, the iconic filming location for The Shire in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. Here, you can wander among the iconic Hobbit holes, have a pint at the Green Dragon Inn, and even stand beneath the famed Party Tree. The guided tours are packed with fascinating titbits, offering insights not just into the making of the films but also into how this vibrant set has been woven into the fabric of the landscape.

Don’t rush off too quickly after your tour – Matamata itself deserves a little exploration. The town exudes a warm, rural charm and features an i-SITE visitor centre that mimics the Hobbiton style, making even a stop for information a part of your adventure.

As the day winds down, enjoy the peaceful setting at Opal Hot Springs and Holiday Park

 

Day 13: Matamata to Auckland

Distance: 185 km

Travel time: 2 hours, 30 mins

It’s the second-to-last day of your New Zealand road trip, but don’t worry, there’s still loads to see and do. Today, you’ll leave the quaint charm of Matamata behind as you make your way to Auckland, New Zealand's largest and most vibrant city. 

A must-do stop along the way is the Hamilton Gardens. This popular attraction is a real treat with its globally inspired gardens that transport you from an Italian Renaissance Garden to a traditional Japanese Zen Garden, all in one afternoon. It’s a great spot to stretch your legs and soak in some beauty and tranquillity.

When you get to Auckland, there’s plenty to keep you busy. Start with a trip up the iconic Sky Tower. It's the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, and the views from the top are incredible – definitely a must-do for a sweeping look at the city and beyond. Then, head down to the Viaduct Harbour to relax by the water and maybe grab a bite at one of the waterfront cafes or restaurants.

Wrap up your day at Takapuna Beach Holiday Park, right next to the beach. It’s an ideal place to unwind by the sea after a day of city exploring. Plus, Takapuna’s lively cafes and shops are just a stone's throw away if you’re up for a little more adventure before calling it a night.

 

Day 14: Explore Auckland

It’s the last day of your New Zealand road trip but there’s still time to squeeze in a few extra highlights.  

Why not start with a visit to the Auckland Zoo? It’s a hit with families, featuring a fantastic array of animals from around the world. The zoo is big on conservation and makes learning about wildlife fun for everyone with its hands-on exhibits and engaging tours.

After some wild encounters, visit the Auckland Museum. This museum is a goldmine of natural history, Māori and Pacific Island heritage, and New Zealand’s wartime history. Its interactive galleries are perfect for kids, making learning fun and accessible.

Top off your NZ road trip with an afternoon at Butterfly Creek to see the dinosaurs and beautiful butterflies from around the world. It’s nice and handy to Apollo’s Auckland branch too. 

The last item on your travel itinerary is to drop off your campervan at Apollo's Auckland branch. Don’t forget to share any hidden gems you found along the way and let us know if we can help plan your next awesome campervan adventure!

 

Is a New Zealand road trip calling you?

From the alpine beauty of Franz Josef to the magic of Middle Earth, a New Zealand road trip has it all. Ready to get started? There's no reason to wait, book your Apollo campervan online today and set the stage for an unforgettable family campervan holiday.

 

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Great savings on your New Zealand road trip

Apollo offers a fantastic selection of deals and specials for those looking to explore New Zealand by campervan. From hot deals and last-minute discounts to long-term hire benefits, you’re sure to find a deal designed to help you make the most of your campervan adventure. 

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Apollo Campervan branches

Christchurch

Setting out from Apollo's Christchurch branch, the road trip through the Canterbury Plains and alongside the Southern Alps is breathtaking, with stops like Lake Tekapo and the historic town of Oamaru enriching your travel experience. 

Queenstown

Departing from Apollo's Queenstown branch, you're perfectly positioned to explore both the adventurous heart of the South Island and the tranquil beauty of Central Otago before reaching Dunedin. 

Auckland

From Apollo Auckland, the multi-day trip to Dunedin and Central Otago – we suggest 10-14 days – offers a comprehensive tour of the North and South Islands, including crossing the Cook Strait by ferry

Auckland City Skyline

Auckland

New Zealand’s multi-cultural hub of food, music, arts and culture.

 

Christchurch City, New Zealand

Christchurch

 One of the world’s most unique destinations.

 

Queenstown

Breathtaking scenery and adrenaline-pumping adventure activities.

 

Helpful tips for visiting Dunedin & Central Otago

 

Climate and seasons in Dunedin & Central Otago

Dunedin and Central Otago offer distinct climate experiences that reflect the diverse landscapes of the southern part of New Zealand’s South Island.

Dunedin enjoys a temperate maritime climate with mild summers and cool winters, tempered by its coastal position.

  • Summer (December to February) are generally mild, with temperatures hovering around 15°C to 22°C, ideal for enjoying outdoor activities along the city’s beaches and exploring the lush Otago Peninsula.

  • Autumn (March to May) sees cooler temperatures and is a great time to witness the changing colours of the city's abundant foliage.

  • Winter (June to August) in Dunedin can be chilly, with temperatures dropping to 5°C to 10°C, but the city’s historical and cultural sites continue to draw visitors.

  • Spring (September to November) rejuvenates the city with mild weather and blossoming gardens, perfect for outdoor adventures before the colder months set in.

Central Otago contrasts sharply with a more continental climate, characterised by hot dry summers and cold winters.

  • Summers see temperatures that can climb above 25°C, making it an excellent time for exploring the region’s famous vineyards and outdoor recreational activities.
  • Autumn brings a dramatic change in landscape colour, particularly vivid in the vineyard areas, with cooler but still pleasant temperatures.
  • Winter sees temperatures often falling below freezing, blanketing the region in snow, which transforms the landscape into a winter wonderland, popular for photography and winter sports.
  • Spring slowly warms up the land, thawing lakes and rivers, and ushering in a season of growth and renewal.

 

 

 

What to pack

Preparing for your campervan adventure in Dunedin and Central Otago requires thoughtful packing to accommodate the varying climates and activities these regions offer. Here’s what to consider bringing along to make the most of your trip:

  • Outdoor gear: Given the diverse environments in Dunedin and Central Otago, versatile outdoor gear is essential. For Dunedin's coastal walks and city explorations, lightweight, breathable clothing will serve you well, complemented by a waterproof jacket for unpredictable showers. Central Otago's more extreme temperatures call for sun hats and high SPF sunscreen in summer, and warm, insulating layers in winter, especially if you plan to engage in snow sports or explore the frosty landscapes.

  • Campervan add-ons: Enhancing your campervan with a few extras can significantly improve your comfort and convenience. A portable heater might be necessary for chilly Central Otago nights, while a fan can keep you cool during the dry summer heat. Additionally, outdoor chairs and a table will expand your living space, perfect for enjoying the scenic views at your leisure.

  • Sun protection: Sun protection is crucial year-round due to New Zealand’s strong UV rays, particularly in the exposed and high-altitude areas of Central Otago. Pack broad-spectrum sunscreen, UV-protective sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat. Insect repellent will also be useful, especially in the warmer months when sandflies and mosquitoes are more prevalent.

For more helpful ideas, check out our guide to what to pack for your campervan road trip.

 

 

Nearby attractions and day trips from Dunedin & Central Otago

 

  • The Otago Peninsula tretching along the southern edge of the Otago Harbour, is renowned for its stunning coastal scenery and incredible wildlife. This area is a haven for nature lovers, offering opportunities to see rare yellow-eyed penguins, fur seals, and the only mainland breeding colony of royal albatross in the world. The peninsula’s rolling hills and rugged cliffs provide perfect vantage points for breathtaking views and photography.
  • Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle, offers a glimpse into the country’s colonial past, set against the backdrop of expansive gardens and the scenic Otago Peninsula. Built in 1871 by William Larnach, a merchant and politician, the castle features beautifully restored Victorian-era rooms and a unique collection of New Zealand antiques. The gardens are a highlight, recognised as a Garden of International Significance, perfect for a leisurely stroll.
  • Baldwin Street in Dunedin is famous for being the world's steepest residential street, attracting visitors from all over the globe. The street offers a challenging but quirky walk, rising significantly over its short 350-metre length.
  • Dunedin Railway Station is a stunning architectural marvel, known as the ‘Gingerbread House’ because of its ornate Flemish Renaissance style. Completed in 1906, the station is one of the most photographed buildings in New Zealand. Visitors can admire its detailed mosaic floors, stained glass windows, and grand booking hall. The station also serves as the departure point for scenic railway journeys that explore the spectacular landscapes surrounding Dunedin.
  • Tunnel Beach, just south of Dunedin, offers dramatic coastal scenery with sandstone cliffs, arches, and headlands. Accessible through a short walk that includes a tunnel down to the beach – hand-carved in the 1870s – this spot is perfect for those looking to explore a more secluded part of the coastline. The beach is particularly striking at sunset and is a popular location for romantic walks and picnics.
  • Otago Harbour is a long, narrow inlet associated with the bustling city life of Dunedin and the tranquil beauty of the Otago Peninsula. It's a hub for water activities, including sailing, fishing, and kayaking. The harbour is also a vital part of the local ecosystem, supporting a variety of birdlife and marine species, making it an excellent spot for wildlife watching.
  • Moeraki Boulders, located on Koekohe Beach along the Otago coast, are huge, almost perfectly spherical stones. These natural wonders were created by the cementation of mudstone over millions of years, with some over two metres in diameter.
  • The Catlins Coast, stretching between Balclutha and Invercargill, offers a remote and rugged landscape with a wealth of natural attractions. Visitors can explore dense rainforests and meet unique wildlife. Highlights include Nugget Point with its iconic lighthouse and the dramatic Purakaunui Falls.

For more inspiration, check out our guide to family friendly things to do in Dunedin.

 

Where to stay in Dunedin & Central Otago with a campervan

When it comes to finding the perfect spot to park and rest in Dunedin & Central Otago, there's no shortage of picturesque, comfy campgrounds. Here are a few worth checking out:

Dunedin

 

 

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