Cruise

Dunedin & Port Chalmers - Cruise Overview

Dunedin's Otago Peninsula is renowned for hosting the world's only mainland breeding colony of northern royal albatross and various other unique species.

Dunedin is also regarded as New Zealand's architectural heritage capital. The foundations of New Zealand's richest architectural heritage were built on the gold rushes of the 1860s, and today Victorian and Edwardian buildings can still be seen at every turn.

The grandeur and rich heritage of Dunedin’s historic homes is something to be experienced. The Octagon, with its many bars and cafés, is a well-known meeting place in the city centre. Well known for its artistic flair, Dunedin is also the place to check out the local art and fashion scene.

Popular onshore activities in Dunedin

  • Catch the Taieri Gorge Railway for a 4-hour excursion around the region. The train departs from the historic Dunedin Railway Station.
  • Wander through Larnach Castle, New Zealand's only castle. It perches on a hill overlooking the magnificent Otago Harbour.
  • Chocolate lovers will delight in the Cadbury World factory tour and chocolate shop.
  • Visit the Royal Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head. It's the site of the only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross in the world.

Getting around

Your cruise ship will berth onto the working port of Port Otago where you will be greeted by friendly and helpful locals.

Port Otago has two berthing facilities. Larger ships berth at Port Chalmers and smaller ships may berth at Port Dunedin which is closer to the city of Dunedin.

Port Chalmers is 13.1km (8.1 miles) to Dunedin. Check with your cruise ship for shuttle services from the pier into Dunedin city with drop off by the Octagon, a local landmark which is near the Dunedin i-SITE Visitor Centre.

As Dunedin is one of New Zealand’s largest cities, you will be handy to shopping, dining and all sorts of urban comforts. If you need some local assistance, call into the Dunedin i-SITE Visitor Centre, either at the kiosk by the port entrance or the branch located in Dunedin city.

On foot

Port Chalmers is a small township and is best explored on foot. Discover Port Chalmers’ interesting mix of galleries, design boutiques, cafes and antique stores of which most still reside in original historic buildings.

Once in Dunedin city, it is also easily explored on foot, with the city centred around the Octagon.

Public Buses

You will need to get transportation from the port to Dunedin city. If you wish to explore Dunedin city, you can take the local bus service from Port Chalmers to Dunedin city which will take around half an hour. Bus departs from corner of Harrington, Fox and Meridian Streets. To return to Port Chalmers, go to Cumberland Street stand 4 (outside Countdown), and catch the Port Chalmers bus back. It should cost under NZD 6.40 each way.

Once in the city centre (Dunedin), you can use the local buses to see the city from around NZD 1.50 each way.

Taxis

It is around 15 minutes of drive time from Port Chalmers to Dunedin city. Taxis are available in the maritime precinct. In Dunedin, freephone 0800 789 789, www.corporatecabs.co.nz. Not all taxis accept credit cards - please ask your driver before boarding.

Car Rental

We recommend booking rental cars in advance. Find a rental car in the Dunedin region.