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Address: 42 Royal Terrace, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
Phone Number:
09:00 - 17:00
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 09:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour

A 'must visit' for lovers of art, heritage and history, Olveston is...

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.

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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

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 639 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 484
  • 112
    Very good
  • 19
  • 2
  • 0
An interesting glimpse into a past life

Beautifully preserved rooms, exactly as the family left them. An interesting guide made the house come alive.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
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639 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 617: English reviews
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Beautifully preserved rooms, exactly as the family left them. An interesting guide made the house come alive.

Thank csmr
New Jersey
Level Contributor
414 reviews
251 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

A very interesting glimpse of a wealthy household in the early 1900's. Our guide was wonderful in the way she explained everything in detail and infused her talk with anecdotes. I'm a collector (maybe hoarder!) of many miscellaneous things, so I found the collections of various items throughout the house very interesting. The rooms, furniture and objects were very well-kept... More 

Thank Roobydoo5
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
201 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Olveston has to be one of the most interesting Houses that I have visited anywhere in the world. Starting in the gardens, which you can visit for free, the flowers are just beautiful. There is also a Conservatory which is full of unbelievable blooms. The colours are sensational. In a garage at the bottom of the garden is the restored... More 

1 Thank tricky111
Romford Essex
Level Contributor
187 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Our tour group was taken around this very interesting house in 3 separate groups. The guide for our group (Ray Shepherd) had an outstanding knowledge of the house. He allowed one of our group to play on the Steinway piano which was lovely and added to the atmosphere. There are some remarkable artifacts and interesting quirky design elements. Well worth... More 

1 Thank holidayfan55
Dundee, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Having been recommended a visit by our hotel hosts, we expected this to be like many other historical houses - but that it certainly isn't! The artefacts and family history are fascinating; we didn't have time to return, but if I had been staying longer, I certainly would. Visit if you can - you won't be disappointed.

1 Thank Gail F
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

Our visit to Olveston was a real joy. Despite the longer than expected walk from Dunedin Octagon, we were able to join the excellent guided tour. This house is a gem and the guide was so very knowledgeable not only about the house, but also about contemporary art and history in other countries. The gardens are also delightful. Overall a... More 

1 Thank San297
South Island, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

If you have spare time or like us we're faced with a wet and chilly day then I would recommend d a tour around this beautiful house that was donated to the Dunedin people by its previous owner. It does cost $20 and at first thought is not worth it but on reflection. It retains all its original beauty and... More 

1 Thank valmargfrance24
Olveston_House, Manager at Olveston Historic Home, responded to this review

Thank you for your comments about your visit to Olveston. We very much appreciate all the feedback we receive. Olveston is a not-for-profit entity. The costs associated with running the house - ongoing maintenance of the grounds, building and the collection, specialist conservators, insurance, staff costs etc., - are met by admission fees and retail sales. Our income is all... More 

Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
261 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is a must-see if you are visiting Dundedin. The house is very beautiful and full of astonishing original furniture, paintings, china and all the bits and pieces of everyday life, just as the original occupants left them. The staff are very charming and knowledgeable. Highly recommended.

1 Thank Darlene3501
Level Contributor
81 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

A short walk from the Octagon is a 1904 historic home that is one of the grandest and the most original mansions in Dunedin. It was built as a family home and gifted to the city in an original state with all the original furniture and family items preserved. Look out for the mod cons of wealthy living from the... More 

1 Thank Adventurer62
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This home is an authentic and original historic home depicting the life of a wealthy merchant family in the early part of the twentieth century. The life of a New Zealand man and his family can be felt here , take the tour and learn so much about the happyness and the sad story as well. You almost feel like the... More 

Thank Michael A

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Dapto, Australia
Wanaka, Otago, New Zealand
8 months ago

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