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Olveston Historic Home

42 Royal Terrace, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
+64 800 100 880
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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” (65 reviews)
“wealthy family” (18 reviews)
“old house” (31 reviews)
Closed Now
Hours
Hours Today: 09:00 - 17:00
Suggested Duration: < 1 hour
LOCATION
42 Royal Terrace, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
CONTACT
Website
+64 800 100 880
Ways to Experience Olveston Historic Home
from US$14,30
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from US$114,70
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Write a ReviewReviews (815)
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All reviews
"guided tour"
in 65 reviews
"wealthy family"
in 18 reviews
"old house"
in 31 reviews
"amazing house"
in 14 reviews
"original furniture"
in 24 reviews
"grand piano"
in 10 reviews
"preserved home"
in 9 reviews
"downton abbey"
in 16 reviews
"house built"
in 8 reviews
"amazing home"
in 8 reviews
"family home"
in 13 reviews
"last century"
in 10 reviews
"step back in time"
in 23 reviews
"fascinating insight"
in 8 reviews
"bygone era"
in 9 reviews
"gift shop"
in 21 reviews
"visiting dunedin"
in 22 reviews
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1 - 10 of 786 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

What a wonderful find right in Dunedin - Our guide was do informative and the history of the house is fascinating So glad we went here

Thank missy b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 days ago

Olveston house is a very interesting spot. I was amazed by the quality and authenticity of the house. I was welcomed by staff and since there were no people other than me, I had a private tour. The guide was very informative and explained and...More

Thank minimize940314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwyn S, Manager at Olveston Historic Home, responded to this reviewResponded 2 days ago

Glad you enjoyed the visit. Sorry that you found it too expensive, ticket price is a balancing act between covering costs and providing a value for money experience. As you can imagine looking after a building, collection and ground of this age is not without...More

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Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We enjoyed a tour of this amazing 35-Room home of the Theomin Family. Our guide, Kay, was very knowledgeable and friendly. She shared the history and the stories attached to each room and was very open to questions and comments. This house is remarkable in...More

Thank Ronoc63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwyn S, Manager at Olveston Historic Home, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thanks for your review much appreciated. Yes the restoration is great, wish I had been here at that time and involved with the project. I will let Kay know you enjoyed her tour and I think it was Kirsten on Reception and I'll pass on...More

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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Visits by guided tour only... but what a guide we had! Briar was simply brilliant: very knowledgeable, dynamic and obviously passionate about the history of Olveston. We had a great time listening and learning and sharing a moment in history! The house itself is in...More

Thank Dom21076
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwyn S, Manager at Olveston Historic Home, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Thanks for your comment, appreciated. I let Briar know that you enjoyed the tour and the House Keeping staff that you appreciated their work.

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Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Olveston has been very well restored and is well worth a visit. Visits are by guided tour only so make sure that you check the times. Tours take one hour. The house contains all the original furnishings - a wide ranging collection from various parts...More

Thank Robin P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwyn S, Manager at Olveston Historic Home, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Thanks for your comments, appreciated.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Incredible insight into a by gone era. Amazing foresight by the architect. House must have been well ahead of its time with all its special features. If your visiting Dunedin you must go. We will be back.More

Thank tinpins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwyn S, Manager at Olveston Historic Home, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thanks for your review, appreciated. The architect, Sir Ernest George specialised in domestic architecture and was making the "smart" house of the day. This is transition architecture moving from Victorian and Edwardian ideas to the modern. The family also loved new appliances and technology. A...More

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Enjoyed our tour and tour guide, very knowledgeable. The house and the furnishings were very interesting along with the story and history behind them.

Thank Cindi C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwyn S, Manager at Olveston Historic Home, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Thanks for the review. Yes its a good family story which folds in the big story of the emigration flow of previous generations through Europe and down to Australia and New Zealand. .

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Reviewed 11 June 2018 via mobile

Really beautiful historic home, well maintained. I loved the tour and I want to go back with my mum who loves art as there is lovely art. Garden is nice too.

Thank danyell_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwyn S, Manager at Olveston Historic Home, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2018

Thanks for your review, appreciated.

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed 10 June 2018

Beautiful house, furnishing and decor. The house and everything in it are a snapshot in time, lovingly curated and preserved by the Theomin family, and now by the city of Dunedin. A world-class attraction. Our guide was excellent, the information he shared with us was...More

Thank Sarah53187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwyn S, Manager at Olveston Historic Home, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2018

Thanks for the great review, appreciated.

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Reviewed 27 May 2018

The house is well worth a visit for the view of Dunedin life a century ago, life in the upper echelons of society at least. Original decoration and furnishings and a huge collection of art and artifacts from around the world make every room fascinating....More

Thank kdtotara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronwyn S, Manager at Olveston Historic Home, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2018

The house is very full and their is always more to see even when you have been on multiple visits. It is almost impossible to take in everything in one visit., Lucky locals get a chance to come on multiple visits or specialist 2hrs visits....More

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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
missy b
28 March 2018|
AnswerShow all 9 answers
Response from Bronwyn S | Property representative |
Sorry to have missed your question. As per above you are thinking of Larnach Castle.
1
Vote
K9NRSE
6 June 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Davmoe | Reviewed this property |
No they do not have lunch or refreshments at this wonderful historic home.
0
Votes
Spiderspoon
30 November 2015|
Answer
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
1
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