The NZ International Science festival and your family trip to Ōtepoti/ Dunedin should be on your list for getting out and about in Aotearoa.
I love heading back there as it’s one of my favourite places to travel to by car and somewhere that’s perfect to take the family as the drive is only 3 ish hours. My toddler can enjoy the scenery with a couple of stops along the way. It’s also my ‘go-to’ destination to get my city hit, an amazing restaurant/cafe injection and also the school holidays and the Science Festival that is coming up on the 4-12 July.
This year’s New Zealand Science Festival ‘Nano edition’ promises to be a corker. 9 days to fill your school holidays or family visit to the city of Ōtepoti/ Dunedin. With over 70 events (yep you read that correctly) to fill your face with there’s something for all ages. Your family trip to NZ Science Festival could be the spark that gets your wee ones into science!
Starting with the Big Science Show running on the 4th and 5th July at 2pm turning the Auditorium at The Teacher’s College into an explosive science laboratory!
The majority of the events are $0-$5, perfect for parents on a budget. Dozens of workshops, explosions, lasers, exploration of the Big Bang Theory, Dreamers Space: building jetpacks, Squishy Circuits, newly hatched butterflies. Up close and personal with Humpback Whales, museums, and Orokonui Ecosanctuary they all have their own special take on nine days of the festival. Nature walks throughout the city and for those unable to make it there, it will live-streamed to you can feel part of the action! Check it all out here and plan your trip.
This is the absolute perfect time to educate our tamariki about nature, the environment and the future of Aotearoa and spend time as a family.
While I’m in Ōtepoti/ Dunedin with the family I know from previous expeditions there’s an abundance to do within the city walls. Having my small person around she’s up at 6.30am and out for food. She is obsessed with eating and it’s the first thing she asks for upon waking.
So first up, we’ll head to Vogel St Kitchen because it’s huge and great for sprawling out if you have small ones. They do the best cinnamon buns and coffee to get ready for the day.
Next up Ocho for a hot chocolate and take some made-on-the-premises chocolate away with you for an after dinner treat and just next door is Bay Rd Peanut Butter.
Beam me up Bagels for the best ‘space-inspired’ lunch (Darth bacon anyone?) and No 7 Balmac in Maori Hill offer the best cakes and doughnuts for small faces to stare at.
The Otago Farmers Market is at the Dunedin Railway every Saturday. A beautiful display every weekend of all the fresh fruit and vegetables, honey, meats, flowers, coffee anyone could ask for. *DROOLING* My small one can get amongst all the sellers and their stories. She loves to shout “hello” to all and sundry.
There are playgrounds a plenty for when you just need to sit and enjoy your coffee in peace (run free kids!), over 30 beaches dotted around the Ōtepoti/ Dunedin coastline. A cold water Bali people!
I love a good wrapped up walk on the beach during Winter.
Don’t miss out on Patty’s and Cream, fresh ice-cream from a traditional van at Mornington and St. Clair on different days.
Best for toddlers and having some space Etrusco, Emerson’s, Moiety, Good Earth, Precinct, Heritage,The Jitsu, Papa Chous and meander through Luan Yuan Chinese Garden. Settle into Chinese Garden for dumplings and all types of tea. My toddler eats ANYTHING which is heavenly, but I also love a it of space for her to run around.
I’m a big believer in the power of buildings for feeling a sense of place and Lanarch Castle is an absolute perfect example of this. I stayed there a few years ago when Wren was just a baby and it was perfect for finding trails hidden away leading to doors to the castle. Wandering the gardens (and not just any gardens; an absolute staggering work of beauty) and currently it’s free for kids with a paying adult. Children absolutely love taking the map and finding their way around the place.
The Otago Museum and Tūhura Science Centre is also a feast with it’s 45 interactives and butterfly house in a three-level tropical forest, and a giant DNA helix-inspired slide.
There’s an abundance of offers on for the school holidays and you can find them here, but some offers currently on:
Lanarch Castle: Children go free with a paying adult 4-19 July
Elm Wildlife Tours 50% off for the school holidays
Blue Penguin Pukekura the worlds smallest penguin. Kids go free
I absolutely love Ōtepoti/ Dunedin (can you tell!) and whether you’ve been there a million times, you live there or have never uncovered this gem, now is the absolutely perfect time to get out and explore.
NZ International Science Festival 4-12 July
Big Science Show 4/5 July
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Images all supplied by Dunedin NZ.
This piece of work was a collaboration between myself and Dunedin NZ. If I didn’t think you’d like it I wouldn’t write about it.