Dunedin, City Drive, Olvestron House & Botanical Gardens
3.5 HoursModerateSightseeing | Essentials Collection
Built by David Theomin in 1906 and bequeathed, with all its contents, to the city of Dunedin in 1966, the beautiful 35-room Olveston House is a stunning example of the stately architecture created for the privileged families of Dunedin’s high society. Your tour will provide an intimate glimpse of an era’s elegant lifestyle and the dreams and achievements of the family who lived out its days in this graceful Jacobean-style brick and plaster mansion. Also featured on this intriguing half-day excursion will be the glorious gardens, ponds and meandering paths of the internationally renowned Dunedin Botanic Garden. Let your imagination run wild as you explore New Zealand’s oldest public garden, sited next to New Zealand’s oldest college, the prestigious Otago University. Established in 1863 and extensively enlarged during the early years of the 20th century, this 72-acre oasis forms part of Dunedin’s Town Belt, a circle of green that surrounds the inner city. The lower gardens feature rose and herb plots, a duck pond, band rotunda, Japanese garden and the rippling waters of Lindsay Creek. Split by Lovelock Avenue, a winding public road, the upper gardens are home to the famed Rhododendron Dell, which has graced the southeast corner of the garden from its earliest days. Also found are an African garden, wetlands garden, and small aviary. In addition to your house and garden tour, a narrated scenic drive will showcase expansive views of lovely Otago Harbour and its colorful beach communities plus photo stops at two of the city’s most notable attractions. Visit the Octagon, an 8-sided plaza that forms the core of Dunedin’s imposing business district, and the Dunedin Railway Station, a jewel in New Zealand’s architectural crown.
Please note: Wear weather-appropriate clothing, and comfortable walking shoes and bring local currency, and your camera. There is no elevator access to Olveston House’s upper stories. Guests with limited mobility may be unable to access these levels and may view a DVD tour of those floors. Photography is not permitted in Olveston House.