Book your 3-hour shore excursion in the morning or afternoon, beginning with pickup at Port Chalmers. Board a minivan with a small group of travelers for the scenic drive toward the suburb of North Dunedin. Your guide makes a stop at Baldwin Street, the world's steepest residential street.
The drive continues up the Leith Valley toward the Craigieburn Reserve for views of the city, Ross Creek Reservoir, and Otago Harbour. Learn about efforts to conserve the lowland Rimu forest and hear of the early pioneers who settled the area. Then, pass by the upscale homes of Maori Hill and see other fine architecture, such as Olveston House, on a drive through the Dunedin Town Belt.
Stop for 15 minutes at the Octagon in the city center for a look at several significant buildings and a statue of the Scottish poet, Robert Burns. Down the road, focus your camera on the historic Dunedin Railway Station, one of the most photographed buildings in the southern hemisphere.
Upon reaching the Otago Peninsula, search the shore for wildlife such as yellow-eyed penguins and New Zealand fur seals. Admire unrivaled vistas from several lookouts over the eponymous harbor before a final stop in the leafy suburb of St. Clair. Stroll along the beachfront promenade at one of the South Island's most popular surf spots, before the return trip to the cruise port.