Dunedin City (Scottish settlement in 1848) is a vibrant university city. Proud of it's early history and shown in it's many Victorian buildings still in use today along with galleries and museums. A stroll around the city can take you back in time, it'll marvel you with street art and tempt the taste buds with tasty local cuisine and beverages. But the history does not stop there and human history in Otago stretches back to around 1250-1300 with the first peoples, Rapuwai, Hāwea, Waitaha, Ngāti Māmoe and Ngāi Tahu. Ōtepoti is an early name for Dunedin and the areas such as Otago Peninsula, Ōtākau village Marae and Taiaroa Head, Pukekura and north of the city Aramoana, Pūrākaunui, Māpoutahi to Karitāne are important cultural and spiritual places of the first people to settle on the wild and rugged southern land and are beautiful places to explore.
The area is the wildlife capital of New Zealand, soaring Albatross with 3 metre wingspan nest on the very edge of the Otago Peninsula where it juts into the southern ocean, albatross held aloft by the westerly gales of the roaring forties. On beaches nearby Sea lions slumber, charge and bluff, males of 400 kilograms will hold a territory of stunning golden sands stretching into the distance beneath towering dunes and crumbling cliffs. Shy Yellow-Eyed Penguins once abundant here but now sadly clinging to existence on the mainland are a reminder of human impact on nature and to stay away from nesting areas of this ancient and vulnerable species. Blue penguins aggressive and robust nest anywhere! human existence or not! Sadly no match for our speeding vehicles or wandering dogs, they are holding steady in protected areas. Fur Seals enjoy sunning themselves on rocky shores and out in the deep blue dolphins like the rare Hector's, Common, Dusky and Orca or a glimpse of migrating whales can sometimes be seen. Huge southern swells travelling across thousands of kilometres of ocean crash with dramatic fashion against towering cliffs, caves and onto golden sand beaches around the coastline. It's a take your breath away coast and not just because of the biting wind!