Outside the Conference — Dunedin & Otago

Please visit this link for a list of Dunedin attractions.

Taieri Gorge Rail and Monarch Wildlife Tours have offered special rates for SEAL attendees — see (here) and (here) for more details.

Dunedin weather

Weather in Dunedin in December is mild, with an average high of 18°C (65°F) and low of 8°C (48°F). Dunedin does have a reputation of "four seasons in one day" so it pays to be prepared. Details on weather can be found at the MetService page for Dunedin: http://www.metservice.com/towns-cities/dunedin.


Dunedin prides itself on its strong scottish heritage, and was the financial hub of New Zealand during the country's early development. There are many things to see and do within the city itself.

Central Otago is three hours' drive from Dunedin, and is the heart of New Zealand's "adventure tourism"

Approximately two hours south of Dunedin is The Catlins, great for nature-lovers with many scenic walks and places to see New Zealand's natural wildlife.

Visitor Attractions

Taieri Gorge Train

Taieri Gorge Railway is a locally owned company specialising in scenic train trips into the spectacular Central Otago Hinterland and up the rugged Otago Coast north of Dunedin.

From the short 90 minute return trip along the Otago Harbour cliff tops, to the half day trips through some of New Zealand's most ever-changing, spectacular and iconic scenery, the Taieri Gorge Railway trips are an experience not to be missed.

Trains depart from the Dunedin Railway station which is a short walk from the University campus.


Penguin Place

Penguin Place is a private conservation reserve dedicated to helping the endangered Yellow Eyed Penguin survive, and offering tours to view the penguins.

A short bus trip over the farm takes small groups to the reserve. While in the reserve, your guide will lead you on foot through a unique system of covered trenches and into viewing hides. These hides allow access to the living areas and breeding grounds of this shy penguin, providing the opportunity to witness and photograph undisturbed activity at close range.

Penguin Place is located at Taiaroa Head on the tip of the Otago Peninsula.


Albatross Colony

The Royal Albatross Centre provides award winning wildlife tours of the Otago Peninsula including onsite albatross viewing and penguin viewing tours, interactive marine conservation displays, and historical tours of Tairoa Head.

The Royal Albatross Centre is located at Taiaroa Head on the tip of the Otago Peninsula.


Dunedin Chinese Garden

The Dunedin Chinese Garden is an authentic example of a late Ming/early Ching Dynasty Scholar's Garden and celebrates Otago's Chinese heritage. It is located next to the Otago Settlers' Museum close to the centre of the city and many of the city's other tourist attractions.

The garden is open 10am — 5pm Monday — Sunday and admission is $9.


Toitu Otago Settlers Museum

Toitu is one of the city's Museums. Here you can learn about Otago's early settlers — the people whose character, culture, technology, art, fashion, and transport shaped New Zealand's First Great City.

Toitu is free to visit.


Otago Museum

The Otago Museum was founded in 1868. It is the largest cultural and heritage institution in Otago and has a collection of over two million natural science specimens and human history artefacts.

The Otago Museum is also home to the Discovery World Tropical Forest — an indoor tropical forest that is home to hundreds of beautiful, live exotic butterflies.

The Otago Museum is free to visit (special exhibitions may incur a fee) and admission to the Discovery World Tropical Forest is $10.


Dunedin Public Art Gallery

The Public Art gallery is located in the octagon in the centre of the city. Admission is free.


Cadbury World

Dunedin is home to Cadbury's New Zealand factory. The Cadbury World tour is a chocolate-lover's dream!

There are three different tours — the Factory Tour, the Shortened Tour, and the Centre Tour. The Factory Tour takes approximately 75 minutes, and incorporates a ten minute self-guided tour around the Visitors' Centre before a fully guided tour through several areas of the operational factory. Chocolate samples are given along the way, and the tour ends with the world's largest chocolate waterfall.

The Cadbury World full tour costs $22.


Speight's Brewery Tour

Since 1876 the Speight's brewery has been producing ales from the same site in central Dunedin and continues to this day. The Speight's Brewery Tour is an award winning interactive and informative guided tour through the historic working brewery. On the tour you'll see, smell, touch and taste the ingredients that go into making Speight's beers - and of course get to sample some for yourself.

There are several tour options available, with tours operating at a number of different times throughout the day.


Botanic Garden

The Dunedin Botanic Garden is New Zealand's first botanic garden and holds the status of Garden of International Significance. It has hill views from sunny lawns, more than 6,800 plant species and the song of wild native bellbirds, wood pigeons and tui.

The Garden is a short walk from the University campus and is free to visit.


Larnach Castle & Gardens

Larnach Castle is New Zealand's only Castle. With its exciting, sometimes scandalous and tragic history, magnificent carved ceilings, New Zealand antiques and breathtaking views, Larnach Castle offers you a vision of the past and present.

Admission to the Castle, gardens, and grounds for a self-guided tour is available ($28), or admission to the gardens and grounds only is available ($12.50).


Further Afield

If you have some extra time before or after the conference you might like to hire a car (http://www.flydunedin.com/rentalcars.php), or hop on a bus (http://www.tourism.net.nz/region/--south-island/transport/bus-and-coach-services) and visit some of the great locations in the surrounding area.

The Catlins

A great trip to the south of Dunedin is to take the Southern Scenic Route (http://www.southernscenicroute.co.nz/) and head through the Catlins. Situated off the beaten track, the Catlins encompasses the area between Kaka Point and Fortrose. You will journey through rural heartland and podocarp forests, past rugged coastlines, hidden lakes and stunning waterfalls. The natural landscapes are enthralling and the wildlife is extraordinary.

Dunedin Airport to Kaka Point — 1 hour


Central Otago

Central Otago is New Zealand's most inland region, located in the southern half of the South Island. It's breathtakingly different with vast undulating landscapes, rugged snow-capped mountains, clear blue rivers, deep gorges and tussock-clad hills.

There are plenty of things to do in Central Otago — from hiring a bike and cycling the Central Otago Rail Trail (http://www.otagocentralrailtrail.co.nz/), to walks through historic townships and wide open landscapes (http://www.centralotagonz.com/Otago-Walks), to visiting galleries featuring work of local artists (http://www.centralotagonz.com/arts_culture_heritage). There's something for everyone!

Travel Times:



Queenstown is a world renowned travel destination attracting around 1.9 million visitors every year. It is famous for its adrenalin activities, from iconic Queenstown bungy jumping to whitewater rafting, river surfing, canyon swinging and thrills on a jet boat. If you're not after the adrenalin rush, there are plenty more activities to be had, along with taking in the amazing landscapes of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains (http://www.queenstownnz.co.nz/information/adventure-activities/).

Dunedin to Queenstown — 4 hours 5 min


Milford Sound

New Zealand's eighth wonder of the world, Milford Sound is a fjord in the south-west of the South Island. Home to an array of wildlife and spectacular views. A number of boat tours are available from which to discover the natural wonders of this area.

Dunedin to Milford Sound — 4 hours 55min