Located at the base of the stunning Otago Peninsula, Dunedin is celebrated for its Victorian and Edwardian architecture, creative vibe, passion for rugby and its emerging dining scene. Given its strong British ancestry the city has a tradition of making full-flavoured beers, while the large student population gives the place an arty, slightly alternative edge. The city has a lively nightlife, with plenty of funky bars and old school pubs. Thanks to its stylish new sports stadium Dunedin now hosts international rugby matches – a game which is followed with great enthusiasm in these parts. The nearby peninsula is home to colonies of sea lions, penguins and giant albatross. Guided tours and cruises are available.
Who goes there: Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America, P&O, Royal Caribbean, Heritage Expeditions, Noble Caledonia, Hapag-Lloyd, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises.
Cruisers like: Apart from its fine 19th Century buildings, Dunedin has a buzzy restaurant scene – and plenty of bars and cafes. One of the most popular destinations is the historic Speights Brewery, which produces both mainstream and craft beers. Founded in 1878 the brewery offers guided tours, an alehouse and its own museum. Other city highlights include the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Otago Museum and Dunedin Railway Station, a magnificent structure built in the Edwardian Baroque style. For sports fans a tour of the Forsyth Barr Stadium is a must, while keen surfers can catch a wave at nearby St Clair Beach; the 1884 saltwater pool is also worth a visit.
Best for: Wildlife enthusiasts, fresh air fanatics, hikers, mountain bikers and craft beer lovers.
Getting around: Large cruise passengers arrive at Port Chalmers while smaller vessels can berth in Dunedin itself. There is a bus service from Port Chalmers. Dunedin can be explored on foot, but there are taxis and buses.