Tunnel Beach, Dunedin Coastline, New Zealand

Dunedin and the Catlins

The Otago Peninsula is rich in flora and fauna with diverse wildlife, idyllic fishing villages and rolling green pastures.

Dunedin’s dramatic hills surround a long, natural harbour, which attracted Maori settlers to the site over four centuries ago.

More recently the area was settled by whalers, gold miners and migrants from Scotland and China. Memorable for its historic architecture, Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Catlins is the southernmost coastal route, some of which is on unsealed roads but makes for a totally absorbing journey with majestic sweeping beaches, native forests and wildlife opportunities at every turn.

Stewart Island, New Zealand
Stewart Island, New Zealand

Stewart Island

Stewart Island, off the far south coast of the country, is New Zealand’s third-largest island and a truly unspoilt spot; trek one of the many tracks, spot kiwis on the beach and enjoy the rich birdlife of Stewart and nearby Ulva Island.

Tunnel Beach, Dunedin, New Zealand
Dunedin, New Zealand

Wildlife around Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula

The area around Dunedin is home to the endangered yellow-eyed penguin as well as the world’s smallest penguin; the little blue. Also residing on these southern beaches are fur seal colonies as well as Hooker’s sea lions and elephant seals with the oceans beyond being a playground for dolphins including the world’s smallest and rarest dolphin, the hector which can often be seen surfing in on the waves.

This area is also an ornithologist’s delight with a colony of albatross as well as kiwi and a host of smaller species.


What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Railway track of Taieri Gorge tourist railway crosses a bridge across a ravine on its journey up the valley

Taeri Gorge Railway

Take in early pioneers engineering feats alongside spectacular scenery on this rail journey from Dunedin to Taeri Gorge.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Dunedin Railway Station, New Zealand

Explore Dunedin

Settled by Maori, whalers, gold miners and migrants from Scotland and China, Dunedin has some fabulous historical architecture.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Moeraki Boulders, South Island, New Zealand

Moeraki boulders

Take a stop to visit the Moeraki boulders, located on Koekohe Beach, north of Dunedin. Formed over millions of years, these large spherical boulders are scattered along the beach.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Brown Kiwi, New Zealand

Spot kiwi on Kapiti Island

Visit Kapiti Island, a nature reserve off the west coast of the North Island, which is home to a wealth of birdlife including the kiwi.

Yellow Eyed Penguins, New Zealand

The Catlin’s Wildlife

Search for sealions, Hector’s dolphin and abundant birdlife in the little-visited Catlins.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Bullers Albatross, Kaikoura, New Zealand

Stewart Island Wildlife

View wonderful wildlife including penguin, sea lion, albatross and kiwi.

Suggested Holiday Idea

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