Pass along the shores of the Otago Harbor and by Sawyers Bay and St. Leonard as you make your way from Port Chalmers to Dunedin. Once in the city, pass elegant Victorian buildings - regarded as some of the country's finest - and more than a dozen churches. At the Otago Museum, view impressive displays of native Maori and South Pacific artifacts. The Museum is home to one of the best collections of Southern Maori artifacts in New Zealand, and after touring the Maori Culture exhibition and Tangata Whenua (People of the Land) gallery with your guide, you will have time on your own to explore further the museum. Of special interest is the "Animal Attic" where you will find a variety of mounted animals from the old-style of museum displays of the 19th and early 20th century. Next, visit the Olveston House, a Jacobean-style mansion built between 1904 and 1906, which is situated on an acre of land and sheltered by trees. Constructed of a double layer of bricks and faced with Oamaru stone and Moeraki gravel, the 35-room Olveston house represents the elegant life formerly enjoyed by New Zealand's 'well to do.' The highlights of the house include a collection of decorative arts from East Asia, the restored vintage vehicle in a glass garage, and the history of the Olveston family. At the Botanic Gardens, you will stop to view the formal or lower section of the gardens. Enjoy some time to wander in the Rose Garden, Water Garden and Herb Garden as well as rolling lawns and an interesting camellia collection.
Dunedin was New Zealand's earliest seat of learning and the efforts of its original European settlers can be seen in the cities early commercial wealth. Reboard your bus and view examples of the founding father's creations as you pass by the Otago University, Dunedin Law Courts, Otago Boys High School and First Church. You will also see the Edwardian mansions of Royal Terrace and High Street before returning to the pier.
Note: Guests must be able to walk approximately 1 mile over even paved and wooden surfaces with inclines and approximately 25 steps to reach the second level of Olveston House. Shopping time is not provided during this tour; however, guests may use some of the time allocated to the stop at the Olveston House and Otago Museum to shop in the gift shops. Tour order may vary between groups but always covering the mentioned sites.