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10 things to do in Dunedin with kids

While Queenstown gets all the glory on New Zealand’s South Island, Dunedin also has plenty of family-friendly attractions and experiences. Here are some for your list.

Explore the maze at Wals Plant and Funland - things to do in Dunedin with kids
Explore the maze at Wals Plant and Funland in Dunedin

1. Otago Museum

The Otago Museum has a collection of over 1.5 million artefacts from around the globe. It encompasses the Tuhara Science Centre, a tropical forest featuring exotic butterflies, waterfalls, and many hands-on activities where the kids can learn and play.

otagomuseum.nz

2. Larnach Castle

An aerial view of Larnach Castle - travel Dunedin with kids
An aerial view of Larnach Castle in Dunedin

Built as a private residence in 1871, the Victorian grandeur of this building will transport you right back in time and make you feel as if you were exploring a historic English castle. Kids receive free entry during school holidays.

larnachcastle.co.nz

3. Penguin Place

Pengin Place in Dunedin
Pengin Place in Dunedin

This conservation reserve is home to the world’s most endangered penguin, the Yellow Eyed Penguin. Guided walking tours are available to view the penguins undisturbed at close range. 

penguinplace.co.nz

4. Natures Wonders Tour

See seal pups on a Natures Wonders Tour.
See seal pups on a Natures Wonders Tour from Dunedin

Visit one of the most precious wildlife habitats in New Zealand. The Natures Wonders Tour takes you on an exploration of natural wildlife and rare species. Get up close to seals, penguins, cormorants and other aquatic birds.

natureswonders.co.nz

5. Orokonui Ecosanctuary

Discover the wildlife at Orokonui Eco Sanctuary in Dunedin
Discover the wildlife at Orokonui Eco Sanctuary in Dunedin

Also named Dunedin’s ‘cloud forest’, Orokonui Ecosanctuary is a great place to see fascinating wildlife and fauna. It is a wonderfully serene place to spend a few hours. Both guided and self-guided tours are available.

orokonui.nz

6. Quarantine Island tour

Quarantine Island in Dunedin
Quarantine Island in Dunedin

Once a place where early European settlers stayed whilst they quarantined, this island is now a public recreation reserve for wildlife and regenerating forests. Journey over the water to connect with nature and retrace history.

quarantineisland.org.nz

7. Otago Settlers Museum

Toitu Museum
Toitu Museum in Dunedin

A museum dedicated to storytelling and social history, Otago Settlers Museum has 14 themed galleries featuring interactive displays of human history. 

toituosm.com

8. Wals Plant Land

The maze at Wals Plant and Funland in Dunedin
The maze at Wals Plant and Funland in Dunedin

Wals Plant Land houses the Living Maze, created by 5,000 Myrtus Luma evergreen plants. There are two escape doors through the maze to get out quickly. Entry is free for kids under five years.

walsplantland.co.nz

9. Urban street art

See street art in Dunedin
See street art in Dunedin

Street murals have become a popular addition to the streets of Dunedin, with more than 40 works commissioned to spruce up the city. Take a wander or book a two-hour guided walking tour to hear the stories behind the art.

dunedinstreetart.co.nz

10. Port to Port cruise

See seals on the Port to Port cruise.
See seals on the Port to Port cruise. Image: Miles Holden

The Port to Port cruises transport you around Otago Harbour and beyond via ferry. Perfect for the wildlife enthusiast, you will get to see albatross, seals and penguins up close in their natural habitat.

porttoport.co.nz

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