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“One of the most interesting visits of historic homes we have done in NZ! Well worth it!!”

Olveston Historic Home
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US$14,02*
and up
Olveston Historic Home Guided Tour
Ranked #4 of 125 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.
Reviewed 2 July 2018 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 great condition with plenty to see and appreciate. Travel back in time and get insights into the life of a successful businessman and philanthropist and his family. For us, this was one hour well spent and enjoyed! Thanks Briar!!

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 3 July 2018

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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"guided tour"
in 63 reviews
"wealthy family"
in 16 reviews
"amazing house"
in 14 reviews
"old house"
in 30 reviews
"grand piano"
in 10 reviews
"amazing home"
in 9 reviews
"house built"
in 8 reviews
"preserved home"
in 8 reviews
"original furniture"
in 22 reviews
"downton abbey"
in 15 reviews
"family home"
in 13 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
"small group"
in 12 reviews
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14 - 18 of 824 reviews

Reviewed 2 July 2018

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 of the world.
Our tour guide was very informative. It is worth a stroll around outside as well.

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 3 July 2018

Thanks for your comments, appreciated.

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Reviewed 24 June 2018 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.

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 25 June 2018

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 good example is the fireplaces some of which we know were not used much and the choice was to use the new clean heat put out by electric heaters.

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Reviewed 20 June 2018

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 21 June 2018

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.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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