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Olveston Historic Home

42 Royal Terrace, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
+64 800 100 880
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Theomin Art Collection Guided Tour
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Olveston Historic Home Guided Tour
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Half-Day Iconic Dunedin City Tour
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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.
  • Excellent76%
  • Very good19%
  • Average3%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“guided tour” (55 reviews)
“wealthy family” (14 reviews)
“amazing house” (14 reviews)
Open Now
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Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Suggested Duration: < 1 hour
42 Royal Terrace, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
+64 800 100 880
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Reviews (735)
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1 - 10 of 708 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

This home was been kept just as it was a century ago. The guides are very informative, well worth the entrance fee of $20.

Thank michaelbN5695YM
Bronwyn S, Manager at Olveston Historic Home, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days ago

Thanks Michael your feedback is appreciated.

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Well worth a tour to see how a wealthy family lived a century ago. Obviously a gracious but privileged existence. A tribute to the business acumen of the head of the house, and probably also his wife and their ancestors.

Thank clicks
Bronwyn S, Manager at Olveston Historic Home, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days ago

Thanks Clicks. Yes hard work, good support from family (inc Father-in- law) and a strong business community in Dunedin all contributed. I love that the family worked for and with the community and constantly supported charity events. Gives the house a good feel.

Reviewed 1 week ago

The gardens were much smaller than the size of the house would have you believe.We were glad of a toilet stop and were mortified at the cost of a tour! The lady at the desk did her level best to convince us with our $20...More

Thank Jane P
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

A fantastic morning so interesting we loved Olveston. Really informative and a chance to see what life was once like for the early settlers. We throughly recommend this a tour do it before you do any of the others as you don't want to miss...More

Thank 440denyseh
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

So well run by excellent staff! The Home is amazing and is charming and warm. We've been there twice now and will return again next tip down here

Thank Brian K
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

What an amazing home, preserved with all original pieces from the family. Our tour guide Kirsten/Kristen? (Sorry) was lovely, knowledgeable & friendly. The house is beautiful with some stunning art, furniture & China. The gardens were in full bloom & glorious on a super sunny...More

Thank Raelene S
Bronwyn S, Manager at Olveston Historic Home, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Many thanks I will let Kirsten know you enjoyed her tour :)

Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

A must for all those visiting Dunedin. Visiting this house is like stepping back in time for a lovely hour. All the elements and contents are original - the family were very wealthy and spared little expense. The garden is also worth mentioning and worth...More

Thank Kathryn082
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Stunning Historical home. Beautifully displayed and informative guide. Sadly on our day it was extremely crowded with tours and some rooms we seemed to stall in and others felt rushed and I think we may have missed one or two rooms while somehow we did...More

Thank Judy R
Bronwyn S, Manager at Olveston Historic Home, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

So sorry you didn't have the best experience. I will look into what happened on that busy day and go over our arrangements.

Reviewed 5 weeks ago

This is a lavish domestic snapshot of the early New Zealand rich merchant class. It was a bit quirky (like the Japanese sword collection greeting visitors) and the expensive bric-a-brac made it feel like a home rather than a display. Our guide was amiable and...More

Thank Johngrimesh
Bronwyn S, Manager at Olveston Historic Home, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Thanks for your comment. One of our Guides does wear hearing aids and we will have a discussion with him and suggest that he asks people to make sure he can see him if they ask a question.

Reviewed 13 October 2017

Wonderful example of yesteryear. Well worth a visit. Guided tours of the house but you are free to wander around the gardens

Thank Suzanne D
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Questions & Answers
6 June 2016|
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30 November 2015|
Response from JeremyinToronto | Property representative |
Hi Spiderspoon, Thanks for your message. Olveston is not a walk from the Cruise Terminal, rather located near the centre of Dunedin (the Octagon) on the hill behind the city. We are a 15-20min walk from the centre and about... More