Dunedin welcomes a vibrant and colourful calendar of events this winter, coming alive with wild and fascinating festivals, curious science and cultural happenings. Families will discover an endless array of activities to keep the kids entertained over the school holidays, whilst soaking up the urban vibe, boutique shopping, street art, excellent museums and some of the best dining in New Zealand.
Illuminating the night with a little magic, on June 30 the Dunedin Mid-Winter Carnival celebrates the season with a stunning lantern parade around the inner city. A hugely popular event, this year’s theme is ‘A Winter Tale’ and will include a variety of characters and creatures from popular fairy tales alongside entertainers, stilt walkers and other dazzling displays.
The July school holidays brings a host of family-friendly events kicking off with the New Zealand International Science Festival from July 6-15. Enjoy ten straight days of science-inspired edutainment, from the mysterious outer limits of the universe to the marvellous inner workings of robotics, and all the weird, wacky, weighty and wonderful stuff in between. Meet space engineers, science gurus, astronomers, coders and NAO, a humanoid robot from China. Kids can take part in all manner of activities, from creating marshmallow bazookas to a wild street art walking tour.
Fans of the Disney film Moana, can experience the music being performed live by the DSO and Te Vaka, the artists from the original movie soundtrack at the Dunedin Town Hall on July 8. A high energy family concert combining singers, dancers, drummers and orchestra.
From July 6‒22 the Dunedin Puaka Matariki Festival celebrates the Māori New Year through a diverse citywide programme of community events, including shared feasts, Mātauraka Māori science lectures, Toi Māori visual arts, music and dance performance.
Dunedin is an indoor and outdoor playground for families, with plenty to explore. During the school holidays local attractions such as Larnach Castle, Dunedin Railways and Monarch Wildlife Cruises offer ‘kids go free’ specials with paying adults, and the Royal Albatross Colony offers a 50% discount for tours to view both the fluffy resident chicks and the fascinating Armstrong Disappearing Gun.
Challenge the kids to a race up Baldwin Street or explore Tunnel Beach where a hand-hewn staircase disappears through the rocky cliff to emerge in a hidden cove. For more sedate days, both the Otago Museum and Toitū Early Settlers Museum have excellent exhibits and interactive attractions for younger visitors, which will keep everyone amused for hours on end.
The winter months have a special beauty of their own, unveiling epic starlit nights and an abundance of rare wildlife just minutes from the city centre. Add to this a thriving craft brewery scene, the outstanding Otago Farmers Market and grand architecture as far as the eye can see and you’ve got a holiday destination that is exceptional on its own, or as part of a wider South Island journey this winter.
Find out more and plan your Dunedin winter experience at http://dunedinnz.com/visit/winter