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 Lanarch Castle, photo by Carolyn Cossey

Book with VroomVroomVroom and travel in style in the south

Dunedin is known as the Edinburgh of the south, for its design and the connections of its first European settlers. There is plenty of history to see in its compact city centre, with many buildings undergoing restoration. It is home to New Zealand's only real castle; Lanarch Castle is an easy drive from the city, on the beautiful Otago Peninsula. Climb the tower for amazing views, or delight in its gardens. A main attraction in Dunedin is the Cadbury Chocolate factory. Book a tour any time, or visit in  July each year for the Cadbury Chocolate Carnival and revel in all things chocolate. Dunedin is also a vibrant university town, with the students providing lots of the city's character and events. 

Experience it all with your Dunedin car rental, visiting  the attractions in the city at your own pace. 

Here are some great tips on booking a car rental in Dunedin 

  1. Book early so you are assured of getting the best rate available for the dates that you need a car rental.

  2. Don't stress if your plans change, we will not charge you any cancellation fees or modification fees.

  3. Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Black ice is common on the roads in winter, understand the road conditions you may encounter. 

  4. Having a car will enable you to get to some beautiful, but remote spots. Enjoy! 

Top 5 Things to do in Dunedin

Take a tour of the Cadbury World Factory
Drive the lonely but lovely Otago Peninsula, and take a wildlife cruise. 
Enjoy fine dining at any of the restaurants clustered around the Octagon
Ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway
Visit Baldwin Street, the steepest residential street in the world. 

With so much to see and explore, an affordable car rental Dunedin with VroomVroomVroom will get you moving at your own pace. Picking up from the airport? Check out  our Dunedin airport car rental page.

Heading to Dunedin soon? 

Winter is a fantastic time to visit Dunedin. When the weather gets cold, locals know how to rug up and make the most of the indoors and the outdoors. Cosy pubs in the Octagon in the centre of the city, offer hearty fireside meals, and welcome glasses of Pinot Noir from nearby Central Otago Vineyards. There are plenty of special events, such as a Mid-Winter Carnival with a stunning lantern parade, and the famous Cadbury Chocolate Carnival is held each year in the July school holidays. The International Film Festival will get you out of the weather at the Regent Theatre in the Octagon from August 4-21. Read more on our events page. 

Do you prefer renting a campervan in Dunedin?

If you're looking for a real road trip adventure, then a campervan rental in Dunedin may be the answer. VroomVroomVroom compares campervans and motorhomes so its easy for you to get the right vehicle to meet your needs. Check our our page for Campervan Hire in Dunedin for more information. 

There's plenty to choose from in Dunedin. Enjoy the compact city centre, with its bars, restaurants and cinemas, or head to open spaces such as the Otago Peninsula. To help you out, we've compiled a list of the best and most interesting places in Dunedin. Check out our travel guide below.

01_ThingsToDo.png Things to Do |  01_Sleep.png Places to Stay |  01_PlacesToEat.pngPlaces to Eat


 01_ThingsToDo.png THINGS TO DO


Olveston Historic Home

Address: 42 Royal Terrace

olveston historic homeOne of many fine Victorian and Edwardian examples of architecture and life-style available explore in Dunedin. Olveston House is kept just as it would have been when it was a family home in the early 20th Century. Guided tours of the house are available, with the local knowledge of the guides being a highlight. The house is set in a 1-acre garden of national significance. For a visit with a difference, add a game of croquet and a cup of tea to your experience. Don't miss the 1922 Fiat 510 Tourer, belonging to the house's original owner, David Theomin. The car has been restored to its former glory over two years. 

Cadbury World Chocolate Factory

 Address: 280 Cumberland Street 

This long-standing Dunedin business is at the heart of the community. It is the centre for the annual Cadbury Chocolate Carnival, when the city goes bonkers for chocolate each July. At any time of the year, you can tour the factory. The most popular tour lasts for 60 minutes, and is particularly busy in the school holidays. Book in advance if you can. 

Elm Wildlife Tours

Elm Wildlife Tours

 Address: The Dunedin Visitor Information Centre, 50 The Octagon

Explore Dunedin and its surroundings by joining the Elm Wildlife Tours' Otago Peninsula Encounters. This is one of the most popular tours in “middle earth” because you can get up close with all sorts of animals, including rare yellow eyed penguins, little blue penguins, NZ fur seals, and Hooker's sea lions. You may also find albatross at the headland of Taiaroa and other wildlife animals at the bay and lagoons of Otago peninsula. The family-owned business has been providing tours for more than 20 years and their expert guides can assure you of the best wildlife experience. 

Toitu Otago Settlers Museum

An innovative museum housed in the original Edwardian galleries, of Dunedin's former New Zealand Rail Road Transport Building. Themed galleries tell the stories of indigenous Maori, early Chinese settlers and subsequent waves of migrants. A highlight is Josephine, one of just a handful of remaining Double Fairlie Locomotive engines in the world. 

 01_Sleep.png PLACES TO STAY



Hereweka Garden Retreat

hereweka garden retreat

This self-contained luxury accommodation was established by general practitioner Peter Cooke and psychotherapist Anna Moore, who both decided to work part-time to pursue their dream of building a garden retreat. The Eco accommodation has been built with sustainable materials and has received a 5-star rating from TripAdvisor. It was also named as the most beautiful accommodation provider in 2013 by the Dunedin City Council. 

 01_PlacesToEat.pngPLACES TO EAT



Penguin Café 

penguin cafe

This café is famous for its delectable food, great staff, and amazing views. They are known for having the best coffee in the area as well as their homemade venison, traditional Cornish pasties, chicken and mushroom pies, and freshly-made ice cream. The best way to start your day is with a New Zealand Breakfast. For lunch, their specialties include the Fisherman's pie, toasted sandwiches and huge burgers. 

Etrusco at the Savoy Restaurant

Etrusco at the Savoy Restaurant

 Address: 8 Moray Pl

Ranked #1 of 210 Restaurants in the city and awarded "Certificate of Excellence 2014"- Tripadvisor, it's not surprising to expect such an exquisite interior that truly takes you to Italy the moment you step through the doors. Not to mention the food, if the romantic atmosphere doesn't capture you, the food will sure do the trick.

Hours: 5:30pm till late 7 Days


Esplanade Restaurant

 Address: 2 Esplanade, St Clair

Nestled on the esplande of the St.Clair beachfront, you'll discover a slice of Italy as you enter the romantic atmosphere of this classy Italian restaurant. The great set up and  spectacular view are only the beginning of this dining experience. 

Opening Hours: 9am - Late 7 days



Have you visited Dunedin? What are your favourite destinations? 
Please share your thoughts below.

Top annual events in Dunedin

Dunedin Fringe Festival: Early March, every year. 

This festival has been attracting both well-known and emerging artists from all across New Zealand and other countries since 2000. The Dunedin Fringe Festival showcases various programmes every year to help promote experimental contemporary art and the works of new artists. Last year's event was attended by more than 9,000 people and is gaining in popularity every year. 

Cadbury Chocolate Carnival:  16 -22 July 2016. 

For an entire week, Dunedin celebrates all things chocolate. How? By filling its steepest streets with 30,000 Jaffa chocolates and letting them roll down the road , in a race to the bottom. Spectators buy tickets, and hope that the jaffa with their number on it is the winner, with proceeds going to local charities.  The Taieri Gorge Railway has a special journey, as the 'Crunchie Train', with carriages full of contraband chocolate and villains trying to steal it.  There's events with a chocolate theme held all over the city. 

Arts Festival Dunedin: 30 September -9 October 2016

A boutique festival in a boutique city; enjoy 10 days of art, theatre, dance and speakers. 
Article by

Carolyn Cossey is a Content Writer and car rental expert at VroomVroomVroom.co.nz - The easiest way to rent a car!
Dunedin Car Rental
Dunedin,South IslandNew Zealand
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