At the head of one of New Zealand's loveliest harbors lies gracious, dignified Dunedin. It was envisioned by its Scottish founders as the "Edinburgh of the South." The city boasts a wealth of fine Victorian and Edwardian buildings, complete with spires, gables and gargoyles. Its Scottish heritage is evoked in street names and the sturdy appeal of its handsome stone buildings. Dunedin's unique charm prompted one of its most famous visitors, Mark Twain, to write, "The people here are Scots. They stopped here on their way to heaven, thinking they had arrived." True to its heritage, Dunedin boasts the country's only kilt maker and whisky distillery, as well as a statue of Scottish poet Robert Burns in the heart of the city.
Dunedin is South Island's second largest city after Christchurch. It prospered enormously after gold was discovered in Central Otago in the 1860s. Dunedin's surroundings are equally renowned, boasting magnificent scenery and wildlife. Only a short distance away, the Otago Peninsula provides a breeding habitat for such rare birds as the royal albatross and yellow eyed penguin. The biggest attraction is probably the albatross colony at Taiaroa Head. Nowhere else on the globe do these birds breed so close to human habitation. The colony can only be visited as part of a pre-arranged, guided tour.