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Dunedin makes for a great stop-off on exploring the southern part of the South Island, or indeed as a base for taking in the best parts of the Otago Peninsula by campervan. It also has beaches and wide open spaces with good scope for camping, while the town is fairly charming and quaint with hints of both England and Scotland of old.
There is lots of Victorian and Edwardian architecture-stately homes and castles-while daytrips might include visits to Queenstown or the stunning Catlins. Dunedin is also a favoured destination for penguin and albatross lovers.
There are several notable buildings worth taking in, including photogenic Dunedin Railway Station right in town and the stately Olveston, one of the best kept and most photographed houses in New Zealand. Other musts include Larnach Castle and Cadbury World, while the Otago Museum is one of New Zealand's most impressive, detailing natural history and Maori facets.
The 'world's steepest street', Baldwin Street, is a side attraction but worth the effort, if only for the exercise and views. It's not far from the Botanic Gardens. Dunedin also has beaches, with St Clair just a few minutes drive from town. The Otago Peninsula is close by via campervan and is good for a dip in summer as well as for checking out penguins, sea lions and royal albatross.
Farther afield are Invercargill (and Bluff) to the south, Queenstown to the northwest and Christchurch to the north.
Dunedin Holiday Park, has the ideal setting, being near the beach, the city centre and to the Otago Peninsula. There is a good selection of sites and units here and it comes with a TV lounge, BBQ area, modern kitchens, children's playground, free WiFi and access to the beach.
Aaron Lodge Holiday Park is a few minutes west of the city centre. A 'TOP 10 Holiday Park', it features powered and tent sites and is good for families and groups. There is a heated swimming pool on site together with a sectioned off playground and pleasant communal areas.
Lake Waihola Holiday Park is located out of town in Waihola, 40kms to the west of Dunedin. It features wide open camping sites in a stunning area that includes the serene Lake Waihola. The Catlins are also close by.
Dunedin has easy access from Christchurch and Invercargill via State Highway 1. Driving within town can be a hassle despite its being on a grid system, owing to one way streets and hilly routes. It is quite compact, however, so much of it is walkable. Avoid driving hired campervans up Baldwin Street as it is way too steep for large vehicles.