Great public toilet facility
Right next to the Octagon, just past the info centre’s red English phone boxes on the left, down Municipal Lane, is a very clean and brand new looking toilet complex, with nice carpeted waiting area with lounges, a staffed counter, and lockers for $1 per day (locker hire for travellers – very handy, and the lockers are a fair size, not too narrow).
Locker hire: 8.30 am – 8 pm Mon – Sdat & Sun: 9 – 4.30 pm.
Also baby change area. The complex is located next to the library.
The tunnel was made in the 1870s by John Cargill who gave instructions for it to be carved through a sandstone cliff so that his family could have access to a beach near his home.
Now many people take the short but steep walk down to the beach and the amasing cliffs formed by the erosion from the sea.
My mother used to take me here as it was near our house, I used to complain about the steep walk up the hill but always enjoyed it.
head to Concord and up the hill to Bkackhead Road and follow the signs.
Out of the Blue: Dunedin - Pt. Chalmers - Aramoana
Aramoana has come to the attention of the whole nation twice. The first time on 13 November 1990 when an unemployed gun collector named David Gray went on a rampage and shot dead 13 people before the police succeeded to shoot David Gray. The second time in 2006 when a very sensitive film about this rampage was released in NZ cinemas, with the title "Out of the Blue".
There was a lot of discussion whether it was appropiate or too early to make a film of this story, at the end even the survivors of this tragedy were happy with the result.
What a strange place to go on a rampage. And understandable on the other hand, as in such remote places as Aramoana is you can find strange people who are there like in hiding because they cannot cope with city life.
Anyway, the village which consists of simple permanent homes and baches, is somehow at the end of the world, at the end of the land northeast of Dunedin, straight opposite Taiaroa Head on Otago Peninsula. And at the end a mole stretches out into the sea. There you find a lot of seabirds, you can spot albatrosses from the colony across the water, and seals are resting on the rocks.
A winding road directly along the bays of the the northern shore of Otago Harbour leads to Dunedin, with only one major settlement, the port town Port Chalmers which is Dunedin's port.
Port Chalmers is nice and can be very sleepy. Once I was there on a Monday, and many shops were closed, some were also closed on Tuesdays.
You can drive around the place and along its harbour, some lonesome dirt roads, sit in the sun and watch the lazy waves, and the islands in the harbour.
From Port Chalmers you can start to explore the even more lonesome inland and some fantastic beaches. But be aware that you do NOT reach Mt. Cargill from there. You get close but the only access road is from Dunedin.
See info about the so-called Blueskin Road from Port Chalmers to Waitate in another Off the Beaten Path tip.
Visit a Sea Lion Colony
Nearly wiped out by hunters, Hooker’s Sea Lions maintain a precarious existence along the southern coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Beginning with just one breeding female, mainland New Zealand’s Hooker’s Sea Lion population is slowly starting to recover, and the animals are now found with some regularity from the Catlins to the Otago Peninsula. Your chances of seeing these animals are greatly enhanced by taking one of the wildlife tours based in Dunedin, with sea lions nearly always seen on Elm Wildlife Tours’ “Peninsula Encounters Tour.”
Taieri Gorge Railway
Portion of old railway preserved for tourism. Round-trip tour from classic Dunedin railway station, or can take train/bus combination across South Island to or from Queenstown.
We took bus/train trip and loved the variety of terrain across the island, but had fewer stops along the train ride (just one) than those who took the roundtrip train tour from Dunedin.