From cuneiform tablets to Moa eggs and a tropical indoor rainforest, the Otago Museum holds thousands of treasures for Dunedin visitors to explore. As Dunedin’s most popular and visited sight, the Otago Museum has enough displays to fascinate travelers for hours, from exhibits on South Pacific cultures to New Zealand’s ancient wildlife. See the cup Sir Edmund Hillary used when he summited Everest, or a 50 ft. Maori war canoe that was completely carved by hand. The nature exhibit is one of the best in the entire Southern Hemisphere, where displays range from a whale skeleton that dominates an entire room, to the skeleton of a giant Haast Eagle that’s been extinct for 500 years. There are also displays of Maori arts such as carvings from bone and jade, and a dizzying journey through a Planetarium that highlights the stars, heavens, and cosmos that shine on Dunedin each night.
This four-story building is one of Dunedin’s best visitor attractions, and the perfect place for travelers on a budget, given the free admission. It’s located just north of the city center by the University of Otago, and there’s a small café that’s located on site for refueling between exhibits. Discovery World Tropical Forest is $10 for adults and $5 for children, and Perpetual Garden Planetarium is $10 for adults and $7 for children.