Home to some of NZ’s most precious wildlife and the country’s only castle, Otago Peninsula is a must see New Zealand travel destination near Dunedin.
Otago Peninsula is an ideal destination for a day-trip from the southern New Zealand city of Dunedin. But to really discover the wonders of this unique place – breeding ground of the Royal Albatross and home to other rare wildlife – plan to stay a night and really explore.
The small coastal settlement of Portobello is an ideal spot to spend a night. Just a twenty minute drive from Dunedin City and 20 minutes from the popular Royal Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head, it offers a range of accommodation and services.
The Outlook-Portobello offers superb self-contained studio accommodation and amazing views over Otago Harbour. Located on a quiet road right on the waterfront, it is less than a minute walk from the hub of the village.
Here it’s possible to stock up on grocery items at the Portobello Store while there are four dining options within a stone-throw of each other. Ric’s Galley offers a variety of takeaway foods including fish, mussels, hotdogs, spring rolls, donuts and sausages. In 2009 it was the regional winner of the That’s Life Best Chip Shop competition, its fries judged to be the best in the southern region from Timaru to Bluff.
For a restaurant meal, Cafe 1908 is highly recommended, while there’s also bistro meals available at the pub and a varied menu at the local cafe.
Otago Peninsula Attractions
Bird and marine life are the main attractions on the Otago Peninsula and there’s a variety of ways to discover them:
Hire a bicycle or kayak and pedal or paddle your way round the coast. The road is narrow and winding so extra care is needed if riding a bike.
Take a harbour cruise. Monarach Wildlife Cruises offer half and full day tours from Dunedin offering unique opportunities to view albatross, seals, penguins and up to 20 other species of bird and marine life
Take a tour to see penguins returning from sea back to their nests in the evening
Enjoy a safari
Visit Larnach Castle – New Zealand’s only one – and the 35 acres of gardens and grounds surrounding it. Learn the history of William Larnach, stay on site and enjoy a meal in the former ballroom.
See the Royal Albatross colony at Taiaroa Head, the only one in the world on an inhabited mainland
See what’s going on under the water at the aquarium at Portobello. Includes octopus, seahorses, crayfish and sharks and offers the chance to get up close and wet with touch tanks.
Walk one of the many scenic tracks