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“Beautiful house, exceptional guide!”

Olveston Historic Home
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Theomin Art Collection Guided Tour
Ranked #4 of 105 things to do in Dunedin
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: A 'must visit' for lovers of art, heritage and history, Olveston is lavishly furnished with exotic artefacts, prized artworks, antique furniture, ceramics and statues from around the world. The 35-room Edwardian mansion was designed for a one of Dunedin's most prominent businessmen, philanthropists and collectors during the early 1900s. The house was gifted to the people of Dunedin in 1966, fully furnished with the original contents, Olveston is a time capsule as little has changed inside the house since it was occupied as a family home. The house and its 'Garden of National Significance', within the city's Green Belt, can be experienced at 42 Royal Terrace, within walking distance of Dunedin's Octagon. Entry inside the house is by guided tour only (1 hour, max. 15 People per group). Tours commence daily at: 9.30am, 10.45am, 12 noon, 1.30pm, 2.45pm and 4pm. Group bookings available at a time to suit the group - available on request. Tours are conducted in English. Mandarin, Cantonese, German, French, Japanese and Dutch speaking guides are available for groups on request. The gardens, listed as a New Zealand Gardens Trust 'Garden of National Significance' and the gift shop are open daily and free to the public.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Beautiful house, exceptional guide!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2013

Olveston House is a twenty minute walk from the Octagon in the city centre, and is an absolutely worthwhile site to visit whilst in Dunedin!

The only way to see inside the house is to make a reservation to join a tour - their website outlines how to make the reservation, with a toll-free number so it's easy-peasy! The tour groups are small, which is great as you're able to really get inside all of the rooms and hear the guide properly. Our guide Kirsten was fantastic, she was really knowledgeable and friendly!

The house itself is almost completely in its original condition. Almost all of the furniture and items in the house are originals, and are located where they were when the family lived there. You get to fully explore both the family and servant's quarters, going all of the way into the rooms and really getting up close and personal, it's fantastic!

Once the tour is over, you're free to go outside and explore the beautiful gardens and see the original family care.

Definitely take the time to visit Olveston if you're in Dunedin!

Visited January 2013
2 Thank redrose93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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676 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
169 reviews
105 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Olveston worth a visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2012

Olveston is walking distance from the City. Had a great tour of a beautiful house - small but packed with interesting stuff - fantastic!

Visited December 2012
2 Thank Pasqualie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“The forgotten jewel of Dunedin”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 14, 2012

Forget about Larnach Castle (which is not a castle, and which is filled with non-original furniture); Olveston is the real deal! This historic home has been preserved meticulously since the day it was built. Excellent guided tours.

Visited November 2012
2 Thank Henry M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Make the time... You will not regret it”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2012

This stunning house and history was a genuine highlight to our visit in Dunedin.Our Intimate tour (need to book time) conducted with knowledge and fab stories of the family who built the house and collections in it. The garden and garage complete with vintage car were just lovely.

Visited November 2012
2 Thank 101foodi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
162 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Well worth a vist”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 5, 2012

Olveston is a very quaint period home. Not too expensive and the guided tour was excellent. We walked from the city, would take a car next time as it is a very steep walk.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank Rossco90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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