Calmly staring at what seems to be the edge of the world, nestled in the southeast region of New Zeeland’s South Island, lies the city of Dunedin. Praised for its diverse cultural heritage and magnificent architectural and natural scenery, the city and its surrounding landscape present an idyllic couple’s getaway, or even a perfect adventure destination for young travellers. With so much to see and plenty to do in this thriving town, the only thing left is to grab a free transfer car and kick-start your budget-friendly exploration of Dunedin.
Experience the wildlife
Going to a zoo can be expensive, but witnessing the vibrant wildlife in all its glory along the walking paths around town is one activity that’s completely free of charge. Walking the beautiful beaches, and especially visiting the Otago Peninsula will grant you access to some of the most breathtaking sceneries, conveniently accommodating rich and diverse wildlife. Here you will get the chance to see exotic bird species, sea lions frolicking on the beach, penguins, and seals. Do remember to keep your distance though, and admire from afar.
Ride the waves at St Clair Beach
St Clair Beach is a true surfer’s paradise located just a few minutes from the city centre. The honey-hued beach provides the perfect backdrop for the expansive sea ahead and its roaring waves that readily welcome a diverse community of surf aficionados. Naturally, surfing here is completely free if you bring your own gear. If not, don’t worry, you can rent out a wetsuit and a surfboard for a reasonable price of $40.
Hunt for street art
Time to delve into the heart of the city and walk the Dunedin Street Art Trail that gives this beautiful city its unique charm and splendor. So pick up a map and head out on a street art treasure hunt around town, discovering the international works of art that grace over 28 facades and tackle numerous artistic, social, and political questions of the modern world. This wonderful little excursion should take more than 90 minutes out of your day.
Cycle the Numerous Bike Trails
Among numerous outdoor adventures the town has to offer, mountain biking has got to be one of the most adrenaline-fueled activities you can enjoy for free. Provided that you don’t forget to bring your own bike. There are plenty of exhilarating tracks to challenge your coordination and cycling skills, like the Signal Hill reserve, the Swampy summit circuit, and the Chain Hills road track. If you’re in need of a trusty set of wheels, though, you can hire a bike for the day for about $30.
Visit the Botanic Gardens
An absolute must-see attraction for all nature lovers among you is the Dunedin Botanic Garden, home to more than 6,000 plant species, all beautifully and meticulously arranged for your viewing pleasure along various walking paths each more breathtaking than the last. Enjoy a rejuvenating cup of coffee at the local café and revel in the beauty of exotic birds chirping from the neighbouring aviaries.
And the Otago Museum
Dunedin is known for its Scottish and Maori cultural heritage, with the town proudly and devotedly preserving the legacy of these native peoples in the Otago Museum. The best part? Not only is the exhibition rich and diverse enough to be enjoyed for hours on end, but the museum is also free. However, you have the option of supporting the workings of the museum with a small contribution of $10.
Revel in the Beauty of the Southern Lights
Few natural wonders can compare with the awe-inspiring beauty of Aurora Australis, more popularly known as the Southern Lights, sometimes visible from the shores of the southern hemisphere. Among the few places where this natural phenomenon is visible in New Zealand, the Dunedin region offers a spectacularly colourful view of the never—ending cosmos above. Visit the Otago Peninsula and Tunnel Beach when solar activity is expected to be highest.
Dunedin is a thriving city rich with numerous sightseeing spots and breathtaking natural wonders looking to steal your heart away and give you an adventure of a lifetime. If you want to experience the region in its entirety, be sure to find a free car or campervan to make the most out of your Dunedin escapade.