Located between rolling green hills and a picturesque harbor, Dunedin is a city of culture, history, and scholarship. Built by Scottish settlers in the middle of the 19th century, the city retains many buildings from the early decades of its existence, providing beautiful examples of Edwardian and Victorian architecture. The city values its European roots, as seen in the statue of Scottish poet Robert Burns in the Octagon at the city center, the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, and their city rugby team, the Highlanders.

Alongside opportunities to explore the city's history, Dunedin offers visitors the chance to enjoy the natural side of New Zealand. A short drive down the Otago Peninsula you can find Little Blue Penguins, Yellow-eyed Penguins, sea lions, fur seals, a Royal Albatross breeding colony, and the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre and Portobello Marine Laboratory. The peninsula also has many walking, hiking, and mountain biking trails, as well as numerous sandy beaches.



New Zealand culture is a meld of European, Pacific, and Maori influences. All these influences come together to form the particular New Zealand quality of their music, foods, and attitude. While New Zealanders enjoy many international foods, there are a few dishes particular to the country, including the pavlova, a meringue-based dessert, and grilled sausages served on buns or slices of white bread with Wattie's tomato sauce, similar to ketchup. Seafood, roast lamb, and fish and chips are also particular favorites. The people of New Zealand, often referred to as 'Kiwis,' are known for their independent spirit, love of sports, and their laid back lifestyle.

The Maori
The Maori were the first settlers in New Zealand, arriving several hundred years before the European explorers. The Maori settlers referred to the new land as Aotearoa, which means 'land of the long white cloud.' Despite conflict between the Maori peoples and the European colonists, Maori culture is still a significant part of New Zealand's national identity. Maori is one of the official national languages, along with English, and signage is usually in both English and Maori. A number of Maori villages are located across both islands, and various locations offer visitors the chance to experience Maori culture, learn Maori stories, and enjoy a traditional meal called a hangi.

The term 'Kiwi' is used in a few different ways in New Zealand, and it's best not to confuse them. A 'Kiwi' is either a person from New Zealand or a small, nocturnal, flightless bird native to the country, the national bird of New Zealand. When referring to the small, brown fruit with green flesh, the Kiwis use the term 'Kiwifruit.' The kiwifruit is not actually native to New Zealand, though it is grown in various parts of the country. Be sure to refer to the fruit as kiwifruit, as eating kiwi birds or people is generally frowned upon.



Dunedin is the second largest city on the South Island with 123,000 inhabitants, 25,000 of which are students. It is the largest city in the Otago region.


Due to its geographical layout across several hills at the head of the harbor, the various parts of Dunedin can experience different weather patterns all at the same time. In general, the climate is temperate, with mild summers and cool winters. During the winter months of June, July, and August, temperatures stay around 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7.5 degrees Celsius). In summer, which falls in December, January, and February, temperatures rise to around 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius).
Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May June Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Highs 66 65.5 63.1 59.5 54.9 51.1 50 52.2 55.8 58.5 61 63.1
Lows 52.9 52.7 50.4 46.8 42.6 39.2 37.6 39.6 42.6 45 47.5 50.7
Avg. Rainfall 2.87 2.669 2.52 2.004 2.547 2.28 2.248 2.193 1.902 2.429 2.22 3.157