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Travel Guide
Dundine railway station at night

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 much to the city's character and events. A car rental will give you access to it all. 

Travel in style in the Edinburgh of the South

Experience it all with your cheap car rental in Dunedin and visiting  the attractions in the city at your own pace. VroomVroomVroom partners with New Zealand's most trusted car hire suppliers including Avis, Thrifty, Hertz, Budget and Europcar so we can provide quality rental cars at affordable rates. Our search engine will find the perfect rental vehicle for your trip, at a guaranteed best price.  The system is super-easy to use, but if you do have questions, our customer care team is available via live chat, email, or phone. 

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

  1. Book early to get the cheapest rental vehicle available for your travel dates. 
  2. Don't stress if your plans change, we will not charge you to cancel or modify your booking. 
  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! 

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.

When is the best time to visit Dunedin?

Mid to late summer is perfect! Being so far south, the days are long, giving you lots of time to explore. The weather is coming into its warmest and most settled for the year. The Dunedin Fringe Festival will be held from the 9th to 19th of March, and is unique to the city.  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. 

Not sure where to go with your rental car in Dunedin?

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. After a day of fun, you can now take some rest in your chosen Dunedin accommodation. To help you out, we've compiled a list of the best and most interesting places in Dunedin. Check out our travel guide below.

Attractions|  Accommodation | Restaurants & Bars


Olveston Historic Home

Address: 42 Royal Terrace

olveston historic home

One of many fine Victorian and Edwardian examples of architecture and lifestyle available to 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 one-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

Address: The Dunedin Visitor Information Centre, 50 The Octagon
Elm Wildlife Tours

Explore Dunedin and its surroundings by joining the Elm Wildlife Tours' Otago Peninsula Encounters. This popular tour gets you up close to 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

Address: 31 Queens Garden

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. 

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Hereweka Garden Retreat

Address: 10 Hoopers Inlet Road RD2

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. 

Restaurants & Bars

Penguin Café 

Address: 1726 HighCliff Road, Portobello

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

A lot of tourists come to visit the city all year round to experience its vibrant atmosphere and rich culture. Some of the popular annual events in Dunedin include:

Dunedin Fringe Festival: 9-19 March 2017

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: Mid July, each year 

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. 

Dunedin Car RentalDunedin
Dunedin,South IslandNew Zealand
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Top depots in Dunedin
  • Hertz Dunedin Central Car RentalHertz Dunedin Central - 874 Princes Street, Dunedin, SI. 9016
  • Budget Dunedin Downtown Car RentalBudget Dunedin Downtown - 97 Moray Place, Dunedin, SI. 9001
  • Thrifty Dunedin City Car RentalThrifty Dunedin City - 121 Crawford Street, Dunedin, SI. 9016
  • Avis Motel Moray Place Car RentalAvis Motel Moray Place - 97 Moray Place, Dunedin, SI. 9016
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