All good cities have a heart, and Dunedin is no exception. Rather than a square, though, it has a tree-lined octagon, which acts as a central meeting place. This is where you'll find the visitor center, bus terminals, the main art gallery, and a host of cafes and bars. It boasts a statue of Scotland's beloved poet Robert Burns (whose nephew was Dunedin's first pastor), grassy areas under trees, and a giant chessboard. The Octagon divides the city's main street into George Street to the north and Princes Street to the south. A popular shopping area is to be found in the George Street section. The city center is at the head of Otago Harbour, and is encircled by a 200-hectare (500-acre) strip of land, the Green Belt.
By Bus -- The GoBus service is run by the Otago Regional Council (tel. 0800/474-082 in NZ, or 03/474-0287; www.orc.govt.nz). Most city buses leave from the vicinity of The Octagon. Your best bet is to get bus timetables from the visitor center on The Octagon or check www.orc.govt.nz. There is frequent service during the week, but it’s a little spotty on weekends. The fares are by zone and range from NZ$2 to NZ$6.50 per section, but you get 10% off every trip if you purchase a GoCard from the driver. These cost NZ$5 and require a minimum loading of NZ$10. They can be regularly topped up and can also be used on Queenstown’s Connectabus service.
By Taxi -- Taxi stands can be found at The Octagon, at all terminals, and near the Chief Post Office. Or call Dunedin Taxis (tel. 03/477-7777) or City Taxis (tel. 03/477-1771).
By Car -- Once you familiarize yourself with the one-way systems and the interrupted street pattern around The Octagon, Dunedin is easy to negotiate. Most central streets have metered parking, and there’s a municipal parking building near City Hall and a carpark in the Meridian Shopping Centre. If you’d like to drive yourself in style, contact Executive Car Rentals, 331A King Edward St. (tel. 0800/567-000 in NZ, or 03/455-9060; www.executivecar-rentals.co.nz), which specializes in European car rentals, from BMWs to Mercedes from NZ$125 to NZ$339 per day. GPS devices, children’s car seats, and snow chains are optional extras.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.