Guide12 hours Dunedin
Don’t let the tall tales of an everlasting winter put you off visiting Dunedin. A city bursting with student life as well as top class fashion, art and eateries, it’s well worth the trip to the deep south.
The best things to see, eat and do.
Edinburgh inspired buildings and an unmissable student population make Dunedin a beautiful juxtaposition of history and revelry. From the growing street art to the weekend market rumoured to be the best in the island, Dunedin charms visitors with its easy knack of simply being itself.
Vogel Street Kitchen
76 Vogel Street
Every traveler to Dunedin needs to start their trip on a high, so for a brekkie to get you off to a good start head down to Vogel Street Kitchen, a large restaurant in a converted old warehouse building that has become a firm Dunedin favourite. The ingredients are sourced locally where possible, with meat from Cressy Farms, eggs from Balclutha, and free-farmed pork and chicken.
337-339 George Street
Whilst you’re in the area, it’d be rude not to pop into the student’s firm favourite – Modaks. A warm retro vibe thanks to the low slung couches, hundreds of bright gig posters, and crotchet blankets, Modaks is unapologetically itself. The coffee is good and the food, which is predominantly vegetarian and vegan, is ridiculously affordable. Grab a sweet treat or coffee and prepare to take on the rest of town.
Dunedin Botanic Garden
903 Cumberland Street, North Dunedin
If you’re up for a walk, take the half an hour stroll North to the edge of the city and check out the impressive Dunedin Botanic Gardens. Expect to find more than you expected; playgrounds, glasshouses, herb gardens, duck ponds and woodlands, and wild plants from all over the globe. A stunning place to have a little time out, enjoy the peace and quiet of the green oasis on the edge of the city.
46 Stuart Street
It’s probably about time for lunch, so march yourself back into town and make your way to Morning Magpie, a place with a reputation for their ridiculously good coffee, fantastic food and healthy smoothies. Roasting their own fairtrade beans, you’ll find all the cold-drip, pour-over favourites that are a must-have for the coffee connoisseur.
Hard to Find Books
20 Dowling Street, Central
It’s well known the best way to digest a midday meal is to seek out the nearest book shop, so a trip to Hard to Find Books is an easy choice for the next hour or so. Specialising in rare and hard to come-by books, the shelves are stocked from floor to ceiling with titles covering every possible subject matter, so seek yourself out an old favourite or discover a new title to take home.
All cities would benefit from having an incorporated society that is dedicated to supporting the work of its local designers and makers, and Dunedin is lucky to have such a thing in its midst.
Guild demonstrates a real commitment to showing a range of designers – the shop stocks an eclectic and ever-changing mix of everything from jewellery to clothing, candles to furniture, artworks to beauty products, so be sure to come with a few pennies spare in your pocket – there’s plenty here you’ll be wanting to take home.
2 Birch Street
When a restaurant has as good a reputation as Plato, it does make deciding where to eat dinner a relatively easy affair. Hidden under the Otago Peninsula Road overpass is the retro-inspired, fish-focused restaurant and bar that had a former life as a hostel for seamen. Fillets, fish pies and chowder, the harbour-based place can definitely be trusted when it comes to serving up the freshest sea creatures in town.
Dog with Two Tails
25 Moray Place
Don’t be fooled into thinking your night is over just yet, as Dog With Two Tails frequently hosts poetry nights, quiz nights, live music and open mic nights to name a few, so turning up here on a weekend evening could be one of your best ideas all trip.
135 Stuart Street
Post quizzing it only makes sense to finish with a nightcap, so make your way around the Octagon for something smooth at Albar, the city’s favourite whiskey bar. Albar is everything you’d expect a whiskey bar to be, it’s cosy, packed full of people and the whiskey is plentiful.
Staying for the weekend?
Otago Farmers Market
Dunedin Railway Station, Anzac Avenue
If you’re in Dunedin on a Saturday however, the day really should start like a true local at the excellent Otago Farmers’ Market, which takes place at the Railway Station. You’ll find excellent produce and plenty of locally produced goodies to sample (don’t miss the infamous bacon butties!) And make sure not to go home without one of Otago Chocolate Company’s single origin bars.