Dunedin, Walks & Parks

  • Gabriel's Gully - Lawrence

    The Otago Dam walk is a medium grade walk over 2.7km which will take you around 1hr to get to. Total round trip walk is about 2 hours. Otago Dam is in the heart of Gabriel's Gully, one of the richest and longest lasting gold fields in central Otago. 4,000 gold miners worked the Gabriel's Gully gold fields in 1860. A water race ran from Otago Dam down to Gabriel's Gully for hydraulic elevating.

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    • Location: 3 km from the township of Lawrence, 92 km south-west of Dunedin on SH8.
  • Ross Creek Upper Reservoir - Dunedin

    There are lots of tracks around this region just north of the city centre and near Woodhaugh Gardens. The Upper Reservoir circuit is more suitable for buggies and involves a peaceful walk on a gravel path, following the reservoir. There are steep banks beside some of the tracks, so if you explore this area, please keep small children close to you.

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    • Location: Dunedin - nr George St, north Dunedin
  • Woodhaugh Gardens - Dunedin

    A great spot for a picnic or day out, the gardens are north of the city, near the end of George Street. Toilets, toddler pool, BBQ and playground on-site. There are several tracks through the gardens, some suitable for those with buggies. The main track encircles the park and takes around an hour to walk around.

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    • Location: Dunedin - nr George St, Nth Dunedin
  • Signal Hill Reserve - Dunedin

    A popular recreation reserve for mountain bikers and walkers. Drive past the Botanic Gardens and then on up Signal Hill road. There are well developed mountain bike and walking tracks. The mountain bike tracks range from easy to very technical. These are defined by coloured markers - yellow is easiest, blue is intermediate and red is expert only.

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    • Location: Dunedin - Signal Hill Road
  • St Clair to St Kilda - Dunedin

    A visit to the beach is a must in Dunedin, and the most popular beaches are just a few minutes drive from the city centre! Head out to St Clair – it’s a great surf beach and also lots of fun for a splash around – there are surf life savers on guard in the main area. At one end of St Clair are the newly renovated hot salt water pools (open October to March). They are a great location, perched on the rocks, overlooking the surf and allow the kids to swim and play away from the surf, but still on the beach. There’s a new paddling pool at one end, for the littlies. St Clair is also the stop for beach dining, snacks or icecreams. Walk along the beach and past the hot pools to follow a cliffside track. You can take a 20 minute stroll around the cliffs to Second Beach and follow the same path back again. Toilets at St Clair playground. Otherwise the beach stretches as far as the distant Lawyers Head, so grab the kids and take a stroll either along the water’s edge or following the beach side track in the sand dunes, towards St Kilda’s beach and Marlow Park. Seals can sometimes be spotted basking on the sand. They can get agitated and should not be approached.

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    • Location: Dunedin - St Clair and St Kilda beaches, South Dunedin
  • Jubilee Park - Dunedin

    Starts at Jubilee Park, just a few blocks South West of the city centre. This easy, casual track follows the bush on the flanks of the sports ground. Suitable for buggies. Toilets on-site. Parking off Maori Road.

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    • Location: Dunedin - Maori Road, off Serpentine Ave
  • Chisholm Park - Dunedin

    Follow the beach region out towards the Dunedin golf course. From here you can walk a gravel track through the golf course and on towards Lawyers Head with its spectacular sea views, or Tomahawk beach – a beautiful, secluded spot. Suitable for buggies, but there are sheer cliffs near Lawyers Head.

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    • Location: Dunedin - nr St Kilda Beach, South Dunedin
  • Baldwin Street - Dunedin

    You can’t visit Dunedin without tackling the world’s steepest street! The gradient is 1:2.86 – that means for every 2.86 metres travelled horizontally you climb (or descend) by 1 metre. There is a shop with memorabilia and information at the bottom and a bench and drinking fountain at the top! If you’re around in February, look out for the annual event “the Gutbuster’. Around 1000 competitors run up the street and down again. Meanwhile in July the annual, zany street entertainment on offer involves the rolling of around 10,000 jaffas (kiwi spherical red sweets – chocolate centre with a hard red coating) down the street. Each jaffa is sponsored by one person, with prizes to the owner of the winning sweets and proceeds to charity.

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  • Dunedin Botanic Gardens - Dunedin

    Established in 1863, these are New Zealand’s oldest botanic gardens, located at the corner of Great King Street and Opoho Road. Extensive grounds for exploring, right in the heart of the city. Kids will love the aviaries and duck feeding, and there’s a café and playground on-site. Toilets in both Upper and Lower Garden – those in the Upper Garden have baby changing tables. If you really want to keep the kids occupied, there are a variety of Botanic Gardens Education Kits you can download from www.cityofdunedin.com/city or purchase from the information centre at the gardens. Activity kits take around one hour each. The botanic garden tracks and paths are suitable for buggies.

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    • Location: Dunedin - Opoho Road / Great King Street
  • Port Chalmers Recreation Reserve - Dunedin

    Follow the Port Chalmers road alongside the harbour to this tiny seaside township. There are a number of pathways around the cemetery, providing good views of Careys Bay. For a great beach/picnic spot, follow the Blueskin Road by car, to the beach and river at Purakaunui. Fantastic swimming hole, and fun for kayaks.

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    • Location: Dunedin - Port Chalmers
  • Karitane - Dunedin

    About 40 minutes drive north of Dunedin, this tiny coastal township offers stunning, deserted beaches, surf, playground and river to explore. The river is ideal for beginner kayakers – watch out for the friendly resident sea lion! Kayaks can be hired from Kayak Karitane, near the river (03 465 7695).

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    • Location: Dunedin - approx 40 mins drive north
  • Bethunes Gully and Mount Cargill - Dunedin

    If you’re feeling fit, the views from Mount Cargill (676m) are definitely worth the steep climb. The track starts at the Bethunes Gully carpark and playground. Follow an easy walk alongside Lindsay Creek, cross the bridge and start climbing! The track is okay for buggies if you have energy, but there are steep steps near the summit that would require a bit more negotiating!

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    • Location: Dunedin - 15 km north of Dunedin City
Map of New Zealand
  • Central Otago
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Coromandel
  • Dunedin
  • Gisborne
  • Fiordland
  • Hawkes Bay
  • North Canterbury
  • Manawatu
  • Nelson & Golden Bay
  • Northland
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Rotorua
  • Queenstown
  • Taranaki
  • South Canterbury
  • Taupo
  • Southland
  • Waikato
  • Wanaka
  • West Coast
  • Whangarei
  • Bay of Islands
  • Tauranga
  • Gisborne
  • Hamilton
  • Napier
  • Kapiti
  • Palmerston North
  • Whanganui
  • New Plymouth
  • Arrowtown
  • Te Anau
  • Akaroa
  • Ashburton
  • Hanmer
  • Kaikoura
  • Methven
  • Mt Cook
  • Oamaru
  • Tekapo
  • Timaru
  • Abel Tasman
  • Motueka
  • Nelson Lakes
  • Blenheim
  • Picton
  • Catlins
  • Gore
  • Stewart Island
  • Central Plateau
  • Invercargill
  • Cromwell
  • Greymouth
  • Hokitika
  • Westport
  • Glenorchy

Our favourite destinations…

Auckland destination2

Auckland

New Zealand’s economic heart and biggest city is also an exciting family visitor destination, situated on a sunny harbour with city beaches just minutes away from the CBD. Orientate yourself by heading down to Viaduct Harbour, wandering the waterfront, checking out the super yachts or enjoying the waterfront restaurants. Nearby is the must-visit Sky Tower along with excellent and kid-friendly museums and tons of exciting activities!

Wellington

Wellington is New Zealand’s capital. Here you will find New Zealand's parliament buildings, including the 'Executive Wing', more well-known as 'The Beehive' due to its distinctive shape. Another icon to look out for is the Wellington Tram, which was the main means of public transport between 1878 and 1964.

Christchurch

With a population of around 400,000 Christchurch, in Canterbury, is the South Island ’s largest city, yet much of it has the feel of a small town. Perhaps that’s why it’s known as the Garden City but with the expansive Hagley Park, Botanic Gardens, Port Hills, River Avon and numerous beaches the city certainly has an open, relaxed feel that’s hard to beat.

Queenstown

With its well-deserved reputation as New Zealand’s activity adventure capital you’ll never run out of activities and things to do in Queenstown, but you may run out of time! With breathtaking scenery, activities and festivals, cafes and restaurants, skiing and snowboarding, shopping and wineries, this lakeside alpine resort rates as one of the world’s top vacation destinations for all ages and seasons.

Rotorua

Rotorua sits on the shore of Lake Rotorua, one of sixteen lakes in the area formed by hundreds of thousands of years of eruptions from the Taupo Volcanic Zone. The area is renowned for its geothermal activity and top of any activity list is to see the bubbling mud pools that are around the region for yourself. The Waimangu Volcanic Valley offers a first hand insight into the devastation caused by the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera and is a great place to discover steaming volcanic craters and bubbling, spitting  pools of mud!

Nelson and Golden Bay

The Nelson and Golden Bay regions, at the top of the South Island, boast enviable sunshine hours, glorious sandy beaches, safe swimming spots, lots of wildlife to look out for, and Abel Tasman National Park - an absolute must to explore, on foot, by kayak, your own craft or watertaxi.  Nelson is home to a vibrant arts and crafts community with a fabulous Saturday market, and is close to award-winning wineries and family-friendly bike tracks to take you around the coast.

Hawkes Bay

Napier was rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake and is now known as NZ's Art Deco City.  The Art Deco influence has created a unique city – nowhere else can you see such a varied concentration of art deco style. With over 2,200 sunshine hours a year, Napier is a year-round holiday destination with countless activities to entertain the kids – there's days of entertainment on Marine Parade alone, plus numerous other family-friendly trips and activities.  Add to that the beaches, walks and flat cycle paths, outdoor cafes and entertainment, and you have a perfect holiday destination!

Northland

Beautiful, unspoiled beaches, fishing, historic gum fields, kauri forests – the Far North has it all. With subtropical temperatures, it's often known as ‘the Winterless north', with warm, humid summers and mild winters.
Gateway to the Bay of Islands, Paihia is a pretty, lively beachside town and a perfect base for your family holiday. It’s your start point for Bay of Island adventures including day cruises, sailing, kayaking, swimming with dolphins and reef or wreck diving.