Olveston Historic House, Dunedin

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Olveston House, Dunedin

Olveston is an eloquent expression of one family's dream. A tour of Olveston allows an intimate glimpse of the lifestyle of a privileged family in the early 1900's. It reflects a lifestyle enjoyed by just a few, but represents a most important piece in the mosaic of early New Zealand life as a whole.

Visitors are very conscious of the family throughout the home, enjoying and experiencing the many treasures that were an integral part of the family's day-to-day life. Olveston captures this lifestyle completely. There is no more accurate or definitive example in New Zealand.

Olveston was designed for the Theomin family by London architect, Sir Ernest George (1839-1922) and built between 1904 and 1906. The Jacobean style grace and grandeur of Olveston is distinguished by a wealth of decorative detail. It possessed a service lift linking all four storeys. It was the 'smart' house of it's day. The house was centrally heated, generated it's own electricity and had an internal telephone system.

Olveston provided the Theomin family with the perfect setting to entertain both professional and personal friends. Seven servants were employed to service the 35 rooms and to manicure the acre of beautiful garden. The home is sited in the inner city and is within walking distance from the city centre.

New Zealand's Number 1 Travel Attraction

2014 Tripadvisor awards:

  • #1 New Zealand Landmark
  • Only NZ Landmark listed in the Top 25 South Pacific

Dunedin’s historic home, Olveston is celebrating being named New Zealand’s Number One Travel Attraction by sticking to its winning formula. After being named the leading tourist destination in the Travellers’ Choice TM awards by the world’s largest travel website TripAdvisor®, Olveston General Manager Bronwyn Simes says she and the team will continue to ensure the house is a time capsule showcasing how the wealthy lived in the glamorous era of the 1920s and 1930s. Based on the millions of reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travellers over 12 months, the 2014 Travellers’ Choice awards in June 2014 honoured the world’s top spots, naming Olveston as New Zealand’s most loved attraction.

Olveston Tour Information

  • Olveston is open 364 days of the year, (Christmas Day only by prior arrangement).

  • Guided tours commence at: - 9.30 and 10.45 am, 12 noon, 1.30, 2.45 and 4 pm daily (reservations are recommended).

  • Group bookings at other times (evenings included) are available by prior arrangement.

The guided tour of the house takes 1 hour but to also appreciate the garden in the season and outside architecture (don't forget the early family motor car on display) or browse in the shop, then approximately 1 hr 15 min is recommended.

Guided tours are available for group bookings with Cantonese, Mandarin, French, German and Japanese speaking guides. Please contact the house for more details.

Olveston is located approximately 10 mins walk from the Octagon. Street parking is available around the house.

Olveston House - Tour Prices

Quoted in NZ$, Subject to change.

Prices 2020/2021

  • $24.00 Adults
  • $22.00 Concession
  • $13.00 Children 5-16 yrs

Olveston Historic House, Dunedin Enquiry Form


42 Royal Terrace
North Dunedin 9016

Phone: +64 3 477 3320

Freephone: 0800 100 880

Fax: +64 3 479 2094

Web: Visit website

Email: reception@olveston.co.nz

The Olveston Historic House, Dunedin Enquiry Form