Explore The Rugged Coast And Sweeping Panoramas of Southern New Zealand!


The amazing beaches of Dunedin are a must see and will have you kicking off your shoes and dipping your toes into the perfect white sand and crisp waters. Thirteen million years ago, the coastline here convulsed with volcanic activity and our small group guided tour of Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula will reveal this rugged coastline, stunning scenery and rare wildlife. This 75-mile scenic journey takes you to the best vantage points of the Otago Peninsula and backs down to the bays and beaches that surround Dunedin.


Tour Details:

  • Departure times can vary depending on the arrival/departure times of visiting cruise ships and will be confirmed during the booking process. If you have any concerns please contact us
  • Duration 3.5 hours



4 hour
  • Destination

  • Departure

    Dunedin, New Zealand

Signal Hill Lookout & City Highlights

Signal Hill Lookout is our starting point for your half-day shore excursion of Dunedin. Before starting our 60 mile scenic journey, enjoy this vantage point of a landscape scattered with rock domes and vents now covered with pasture and forest.


Before hitting the coastal road, we’ll admire the historical architecture of Dunedin, the oldest city in New Zealand. This city boasts the largest collection of Edwardian and Victorian structures, and we’ll also visit Baldwin Street, the “steepest street in the world”, and the historic Dunedin Railway Station.


For another great vista before heading out the Peninsula, we’ll head to Smails Beach with a lookout point where the southern rollers, surfers and stunning rock formations can be seen.

Otago Peninsula & Portobello

Winding along the coastal road, the journey continues out onto the Otago Peninsula, where you’ll learn about the volcanic origin of Dunedin before exploring the remote southern parts of the headland.


For all you photographers out there, you’ll want your camera handy because this stretch of coast is what postcards are made of and we’ll make a quick stop to capture the unique, rare and always spectacular flora and fauna.


We’ll rejoin the high road for stunning harbour views before descending into the tidal inlets, passing early dry stone dyke walls and limekilns as we go.


Heading toward Portobello, the main township on the Otago Peninsula, we visit the Tidal Inlets - a birdwatcher's paradise - though, all will appreciate the history and important ecosystem. The scenic inlets are where kingfishers, herons and many other waders and waterfowl can be seen. However, it’s often the things you can’t see that have the greatest influence on this ecosystem’s function.

Wildlife Reserve and Sandy Beaches

We’re reaching our furthest point on this coastal exploration! We’ll visit a wildlife reserve, where after a short walk, we’ll spend 20-30 minutes looking for the rarest sea lion in the world - the NZ sea lion.


From here, we’ll admire one of the Otago Peninsula’s most stunning beaches. Go for it - take off your shoes and feel the sand between your toes! On and off shore, amazing basalt rock formations can be seen up close making for incredible photographs.


Wipe off that sand and snap another photo along the beach before we hit the low road back to Port Chalmers.

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Back to Nature

Back to Nature Tours exists to provide experiences that showcase the symbiotic relationship between nature and culture, inviting you to breathe in all of New Zealand’s beauty. At our core, we’re adventurers: exploring the coasts and inland landscapes, remote and well known, all with an emphasis on the conservation of this unique country. Operating since 1997, we’ve built trust within the local community and our clients as well. We are a Qualmark Endorsed, New Zealand owned business which is a distinction by the New Zealand Tourism’s official quality assurance organisation. We also hold Department of Conservation and Marine Mammal Permits allowing us to guide visitors legally in some of New Zealand’s most remote and beautiful locations including Dunedin, the Catlins and Stewart Island. We know many of our clients travel New Zealand by cruise ship, and we have security clearance to pick up and drop off our clients inside Port Chalmers. And, we offer all cruise ship passengers a ‘worry free guarantee’ that we’ll get you back to your ship well before it departs. If your ship is unable to make it into port because of poor weather or mechanical difficulties, no worries, we will fully refund you. We’re excited to introduce you, or reintroduce you, to the wild and beautiful landscapes of New Zealand. We look forward to taking you Back to Nature.