Things to do between Christchurch and Dunedin, New Zealand

Things to do between Christchurch and Dunedin, New Zealand

This post has some great things to do between Christchurch and Dunedin in New Zealand. Christchurch is a lovely town, most famous for the tragic recent earthquake.  Having visited Christchurch 6 months after the quake we did not venture into the city which was still recovering but did see the outskirts. The trip to Dunedin brings some nice stopping off points, places to see and places to stay.

Timaru Gardens

The first major stop on the way to Dunedin is Timaru, a great stopping off point. There are some nice cafés around the town, but if you find yourself there on a Sunday or a Bank Holiday try Stafford Street! One of the points mentioned in the Rough Guide to New Zealand was Timaru Gardens. The Timaru Botanical Gardens are splendidly maintained, with many walks around a scenic lake and tree lined walkways.  There are also some roses to be seen during the summer months and Timaru also has an annual rose festival.  Driving can take it out of your so if you need to stop, it’s worth stopping in Timaru for these gardens – great for stretching the legs en-route to Dunedin.


Moeraki Boulders

The Moeraki Boulders are located about 76km north of Dunedin. The huge spherical Moeraki stones are located on a stretch of Koekohe Beach near a place called Moeraki on New Zealand’s Otago coast.

These large boulders are what are known as septarian concretions (if you like your geology) exposed through shore-line erosion. They originally formed as ancient sea-floor sediments (during the early Paleocene era), over 60 million years ago. They are amazing to see and worth visiting – best though if the tide is out! Be careful as the tide can come into the cliff face and you might be cut off.


Accommodation in Dunedin: 315 Euro Hotel, Dunedin

Once you arrive in Dunedin, you may need accommodation. The 315 Euro Hotel is a nice hotel (located up an alley, so might be hard to find and don’t let that put you off). The check-in was handled very well and we checked into a studio room which was nice, bright and airy. The room included facilities such as convenient hairdryer, tea coffee facilities, and a small kitchen area if you wanted to cook for yourself. There was lots of space in room and it had Satellite and Sky TV. Other facilities in the 315 Euro complex included a sitting area just inside the main doors and a laundry (handy when traveling). The only negative is that the curtains in the room could be a bit thicker as I’m sure you could see into the room from the outside if all the lights in the room were on (no blackout curtains as far as I recall)

Hotel Link:


Monarch Wildlife Cruises – Peninsula Cruise

Having checked into your hotel, you may want to find out what is happening nearby and most hotels have a number of leaflets and flyers advertising local amenities and trips. Having found one for the Monarch Wildlife Cruises, Peninsula Cruise, apparently this is one of the best ways to see of the Otago Peninsula and it’s wildlife. The Otago Harbour Wildlife Cruise with Monarch Cruises starts at their HQ located on the wharf just behind the Chinese Gardens in Dunedin. The Monarch Wildlife Cruise includes the spectacular Taiaroa Head and a scenic Otago Peninsula bus tour. You should also pay the extra few NZ dollars for the guided tour of the award-winning Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve, Penguin Place.
Well Worth Doing !

Monarch Wildlife Cruises Link :


Chinese Gardens Dunedin

The Chinese Gardens in Dunedin are of an authentic Chinese design and was built by the Dunedin Chinese Garden Trust has built the Garden and upon its completion, handed over to Dunedin City Council.  The Garden is an example of a late Ming, early Ching Dynasty Scholar’s Garden, surrounded by a four metre perimeter wall and features a lake with traditional walkways and stonework. The design of the Chinese Garden was laid out to use authentic Chinese materials and was built by a team of craftsmen from Shanghai. Hand-made wooden buildings, hand-made tiles, lattice-work and hand-finished granite paving stones adorn these authentic exquisite gardens. The Chinese Gardens are open from 10 am to 5 pm, 7 days per week and 7pm to 9pm on Wednesdays.

Chinese Gardens Dunedin Link :

The Beautiful Timaru Gardens
The Beautiful Timaru Gardens

Map of Locations : Christchurch and Dunedin

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If you have come across any other Things to do between Christchurch and Dunedin please leave a comment.

  • Timaru Gardens 94%
  • Moeraki Boulders 100%
  • 315 Euro Hotel, Dunedin 80%
  • Monarch Wildlife Cruises 100%
  • Chinese Gardens Dunedin 100%