We continue with the list of “ideal itineraries” for different types of travellers, featuring somewhere to eat and somewhere to stay, in addition to two activities, one paid and the other free. (Read here for ideas for visitors looking for {adventure}, for {authenticity} or for a more {classic} visit of Dunedin/Ōtepoti).



/ɪˈskeɪp,ɛˈskeɪp/ – noun: a form of temporary distraction from reality or routine.

You want to get away? Me too. Far, far away? Yep, I understand. Sometimes you get a little bit of cabin fever, and you want to be completely separated from reality and normality. My colleague Cecile has a little bit of trouble with Science Fiction, so Cecile… this one’s not for you. If you want to completely remove yourself from an average holiday, however… read on!
First, I recommend a bit of forest bathing. For those unfamiliar with forest bathing, basically you go into nature, and you listen and appreciate. Unfortunately, not every city has the equivalent of Ross Creek Reservoir. From one of several unassuming carparks you can wander through native bush, up and down hills, around the reservoir, and forest bathe to your heart’s content. Turn off your cellphone and soak up the birdsong.

Exploring Ross Creek. ©Dunedin NZ

If you’ve got a bit more time on your hands, perhaps fit in an escape to Tunnel Beach, as mentioned in the adventurer’s suggestions, or you could look into the Organ Pipes Track, a 2hr return hike to otherworldly rock formations that will transport you far from civilisation.

End your day with a Ghost Tour, courtesy of Hair Raiser Tours. As the city sleeps around you, you’ll escape the hustle and bustle of life and dig into the former years of Dunedin’s existence. If you really want to get away from the living, I’d recommend the Six Feet Down Under Grave Walk that takes place in Dunedin’s Northern Cemetery.

This evening you’ll retire to your accommodation at Camp Estate, a luxurious house built from local blue stone, an almost industrial exterior that gives no clues about the modern, glamorous setting that hides inside. From the grand and sweeping staircase, to the stylish and varying neo classic room designs, Camp Estate has much to offer.

Your dinner for the evening, however, should definitely be held at Larnach Castle, and Camp Estate offers a free transfer to and from the castle so you can pair your meal with the perfect wine and not have to worry about driving home afterwards. The castle has a variety of dining rooms, chosen depending on the size and feel of the group, but all of them ensure you’ll have historic surroundings unlike anything you’d find in a normal restaurant!



/ˌself.ɪmˈpruːv.mənt/ – noun: the improvement of one’s knowledge, status, or character by one’s own efforts.

Many people travel with the main focus on bettering themselves, and that’s who this section is for. Maybe you want to build an entirely new you, or maybe you just want to build on what’s already there – whatever it is, you do you. Now is your time!
Hurdle your obstacles and climb a mountain all at once. The walk from Bethune’s Gully to Mt Cargill is easy but steep, so make sure you have at least 3 hours ahead of you for this 8.5km walk. It’s a return track, but the panoramic views at the top are well worth the scramble up through native forest and pines.

If you plan on starting in the later morning and taking a packed lunch with you, I’d highly recommend going to Pot Pourri, a vegetarian café below the Octagon that offers a range of salads and meals, as well as a delectable chocolate fudge slice. Take a moment to bask in the beautiful wooden interior and stained-glass window before heading out on your hike.

Once you’re off the mountain and you’ve successfully given your body a challenge, it’s time to put your brain to the test. Escape Dunedin has several live Escape Games on offer, including a couple in the former prison – if you want an authentic escape experience! You’ll have 60 minutes to think your way out of the room with various puzzles dispersed around the room. Don’t let the clue get you!

At the end of the day, retire to your accommodation on the peninsula, and breathe in the calm that surrounds you. Fantail Lodge offers a unique position with lush, green surrounds and proximity to the many other attractions that Dunedin has to offer, as well as two cottages. My recommendation is Bellbird Cottage with its own spa so you can relax in it and let it wash away your worries, or take the chance to reflect on the day, and what you’ve learnt about yourself and the city.



/riːlakˈseɪʃ(ə)n/ – noun: the state of being free from tension and anxiety.

This one goes out to all those desk jockeys who need to get away, those who need to breathe in, breathe out, and focus on just that. This is your guide to unwinding in the city, and trust me, it’s totally possible.

Start your day as you mean to go on, with a Full Body Massage from Spa St Clair, and don’t be shy about adding any of their other treatments onto this one. They also have a range of packages designed to extract all your stress and have you floating out the door on Cloud 9 once you’re done. If you’re in need of a hair treatment as well, don’t forget to book yourself into their Hair Salon!
Your next attraction is a multi-stop, self-guided tour of Dunedin’s fantastic Street Art Trail. Pop into the iSite on the corner of the Octagon, and they’ll give you a map to follow, or take a look online. My personal favourite is the commanding Haast Eagle on the side of My Mate John’s Furniture Warehouse, on Stafford Street. The closer you get, the more you’re able to appreciate the work that went into it.

Dunedin Street Art. © Dunedin NZ

Take a load off for dinner at No.7 Balmac, one of Dunedin’s pre-eminent dining establishments, and one of the Antipodes Travel team’s favourite restaurants! Make sure you book in advance. Dinner is served from 5pm onwards. The locale itself is calm and intimate, especially sitting upstairs and away from the kitchen where you’re able to look out over the garden. The venison has rave reviews in our office, if you’re having trouble choosing!

End your day with a night at Hotel St Clair, where the sound of the waves will embrace you and the tide will take away all your remaining stress if you let it! It helps that the beds are pretty comfortable as well. An Executive Ocean View room will have you waking up in style, you’ll come alive along with the esplanade below, where there are several fine eateries you can wander to for breakfast. Including the nice café at the St Clair Hot Salt Water pool (pool open from October to March). You must be feeling so relaxed by now…

St Clair Hot Salt Water Pool. ©Dunedin NZ

Of course the above itineraries are but an indication of the things that are possible. Antipodes Travel prides themselves on being able to cater to every traveller, whether they’re adventurers or escape artists. They are passionate about Dunedin and its surrounds, and they will make sure that you get the most out of your time in the city.

Ebony Hinds


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