Solo Travel Destination: Dunedin, New Zealand

We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Jenni, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Jenni is from Western Australia, and submitted the following report about Dunedin. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!

Solo travel rating: 1 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult. Please see chart below)

Languages spoken:  English

photo, image, otago harbour

Otago Harbour

Reasons to go:  From the land of the Hobbit, Dunedin has a strong Scottish influence from the early settlers, a very diverse range of cultures, and friendly locals. The city has a lot of very beautiful old buildings, including a castle that was finished in 1887. Larnach’s Castle offers a glimpse back in time. It is well worth a visit both for the heritage value and the gardens, which have a rating as a garden of international significance, as do the Dunedin Botanical Gardens.

The Cadbury Chocolate Factory emits the most heavenly smells and also has tours (and tastings). The Speights Brewery offers tours, as well as having a restaurant attached which serves delicious meals. Down on the waterfront is the Customhouse which is perfect for a lunch overlooking the harbour, watching the Monarch take her passengers out to see the only Mainland colony of Southern Royal Albatross in the world. The gracefulness and beauty of these birds with their three meter wingspan is something else.

The Museum has a diverse collection and shows a lot of history from the area, and the butterfly house never fails to bring a smile, to my face at least. The heritage Taieri Gorge Railway runs from the middle of the town through some spectacular country if you have the time. Olveston shows off the heritage of a house that, rather than being restored, is for the most part intact, with the original furnishings and set up.

The center of town has malls with a variety of shopping options, all within easy walking distance, and including everything from clothing to souvenirs to a Scottish shop.

There is much for solo travelers to enjoy in Dunedin.

photo, image, dunedin botanical gardens

The Dunedin Botanical Gardens

photo, image, robbie burns, sculpture

Robbie Burns in the Octagon

Solo Travel Destination Rating System

Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)

Language – 1 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)

Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)

Culture – 1 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)

Average Rating – 1 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult)


  • Kathy

    Do you recommend any inexpensive places to stay?

  • Audrey Grieve

    You forgot the annual fashion show at the former Railway Station. Now that IS a reason to make Dunedin a destination.

  • Joselyn Seifer

    I’m jealous. I’ve been wanting to visit Larnach’s Castle for quite some time now. Such an interesting history, and the pictures of it look amazing. Picture perfect setting!