Everything You Need to Know about Dunedin, New Zealand as a Port of Call

by Roger Allnutt

Dunedin is the most southerly port in New Zealand regularly visited by cruise ships. The port is located inside Otago Harbour which is bounded on the southern side by Otago Peninsula renowned for its Royal Albatross colony, penguins and Larnach Castle. The rugged hinterland is a popular day trip for cruise passengers and some take the opportunity when the ship visits famous Milford Sound to take an overnight trip from Milford Sound via Queenstown before rejoining the ship.

Dunedin is often referred to as the "Edinburgh of the South" and the strong Presbyterian character together with the steep hills and ubiquitous statue of Robert Burns in the centre of the city enhance that impression.

Dunedin, New Zealand
Celebrity Solstice at Port Chalmers

 Cruise Terminals Dunedin, New Zealand

The boom in cruising around New Zealand has seen the number of cruise ships visiting the southern port at Dunedin increase from around 14 to 85 a year and the number seems set to increase.

The cruise ship terminal for Dunedin is located at Port Chalmers about 10km inside Otago Harbour and 15km from the city centre. Port Chalmers is a small town of about 3000 residents. Shuttle buses are provided to transport passengers from the port to the city centre.

 Cruise Lines using Dunedin, New Zealand

Cruise lines that use Dunedin include P&O Australia Cruises, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, Carnival, and Saga.

Must See Attractions in Dunedin, New Zealand

Larnach Castle
Built in 1871 New Zealand's only castle (more a stately home) is named after William Larnach who came from Australia to be manager of the Bank of Otago The castle is set in extensive grounds and gardens.

Royal Albatross Colony
At the end of the peninsula at Taiaroa Head (only 30km from Dunedin) is the world-renowned albatross colony and there is also a nearby beach where yellow-eyed penguins parade.

Olveston House
’Olveston’ a Jacobean-style home was built in 1904-6 for businessman David Theomin. Standing in an acre of garden the inside is a treasure trove of antiques, paintings, and items collected by the owner on extensive world travels. Maintained in immaculate condition, Olveston is a ‘living’ reminder of a stately and prosperous lifestyle complete with domestic areas, butler’s pantry, billiard room and library.

Railway Station and Otago Settlers’ Museum
Down towards the harbour is the impressive railway station dominated by a huge copper-capped tower with heraldic lions at each corner. Nearby the Otago Settlers' Museum houses a fascinating collection tracing the history of the city and its Maori predecessors while adjacent is the Dunedin Chinese Garden which commemorates the contribution of Chinese people to the history and culture of Dunedin.

The eight-sided Octagon is regarded as the city centre and is an excellent starting point for a walking tour of the highlights that are closely grouped in the vicinity. The statue of Robert Burns is found here. Behind his statue is the Town Hall adjacent to St Paul's Anglican Cathedral that surprisingly has a more central position than the Presbyterian First Church. The latter church with its glorious spire is regarded as one of the finest in the country

Taieri Gorge
One of the most popular excursions from Dunedin is the Taieri Gorge Railway, a four-hour journey from the bustle of Dunedin through spectacular scenery and gorges to the rugged mountain interior of Central Otago and back.

 Cruise Ports

• Cape Town – South Africa
• Durban – South Africa
• Las Palmas – Canary Islands
• Mahé – Seychelles
• Port Louis, Mauritius
• Tenerife – Canary Islands


• Bangkok - Thailand

• Chongqing - China
• Hong Kong
• Mumbai - India
• Shanghai – China
• Singapore
• Yichang - China


• Brisbane - Australia
• Melbourne - Australia
• Sydney - Australia

• Quebec City – Quebec
• Montreal – Quebec
• Vancouver – BC
• Victoria – BC

• Barcelona - Spain
• Copenhagen – Denmark
• Lisbon - Portugal
• Nice - Villefranche - France
• Piraeus / Athens – Greece
• Rome (Civitavecchia) - Italy
• Venice – Italy

• Dubai - United Arab Emirates
• Istanbul - Turkey

• Tunis - Tunisia

• Auckland, New Zealand

• Dunedin, New Zealand

• Wellington, New Zealand

• Anchorage - Alaska
• Baltimore - Maryland
• Boston - Massachusetts
• Cape Canaveral - Florida
• Cape Liberty - New Jersey
• Fort Lauderdale - Florida
• Galveston - Texas
• Honolulu - Oahu - Hawaii
• Los Angeles - California
• Miami - Florida
• New Orleans - Louisiana
• New York - Brooklyn
• New York - Manhattan
• Norfolk - Virginia
• San Diego - California
• San Francisco - California
• Seattle - Washington
• Seward - Alaska
• Tampa - Florida
• Whittier - Alaska

These are just a few of the more than 70 ports and cruise terminals to be featured here on the port pages which are being updated daily with more port destinations

 in Dunedin, New Zealand

The average daily temperature in Dunedin is between 12°C, and 17°C during the summer months of December, January and February, and can be as low as 6°C in the winter months in the middle of the year.

Thre are an average of 16 days of rainfall each month

 in New Zealand

New Zealand's currency is the New Zealand dollar that is written with the dollar sign $, or NZ$ to differ it from other dollar-denominated currencies

 of New Zealand

There are several languages used in New Zealand including New Zealand English, the official and dominant language, as well as Māori and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL).

 Cruise Deals

cheap cruise deals