Olive Tabor's Dunedin
I was born in Christchurch and then raised in the UK. I came back to study for a double degree at Otago University. When I graduated, it was the middle of the global financial crisis and I wasn’t that keen to go back to the UK, so I decided to stay for a few years and go surfing and skiing.
I worked at Nova restaurant and became the general manager, which was a seven-day-a-week job with 40 staff. I did that for seven years and then decided to do my own thing. I bought a 1984 Bedford and converted it into an ice-cream truck, which I parked up at St Clair beach. That’s how Patti’s and Cream started. Now I’ve opened a scoop shop as well. Dunedin is such an easy city to live in. There's lots going on - cool little niches, really good arts culture, a vibrant music scene and loads of great food. I don’t think I would live anywhere else in New Zealand.
John Z. Robinson art studio
130 Stuart Street, Dunedin Central
John Z. Robinson is a total art legend. His studio above Lure Jewellery workshop on Lower Stuart Street, is an absolute treasure. John is a sculptor, painter and jeweller. His little gallery/study is tiny, but there are drawers of rings, necklaces and brooches and he’ll also make special pieces on commission. I love his black and white lino-cut prints - they’re so iconic. It’s such a treat to be able to visit John in his studio, like being in the presence of a living legend.
Detour to Waihola Fish & Chips
39 Greenwich Street, Waihola
This fish and chips store is 20 minutes from town but so worth the drive. The place cranks, and always busy because everything is freshly made. On a nice day, you can sit by the lake, which is beautiful and an underrated wee spot. I like to take the long way home over the hill to Taieri Mouth and back to Dunedin.
Huriawa Pā Walk
Huriawa Peninsula, Dunedin
The Huriawa Peninsula is one of the most spectacular spots. You drive out of the city belt and drop down inland through Warrington and Seacliffs. The road is amazing, and I always think about Janet Frame who was committed to the asylum at Seacliffs. There is a big inlet at Karitane and the Pā walk takes you around the cliff tops. On clear days you can see all the way down the coastline. It’s such a cool walk, and really feels like a spiritual place.
Best coffee in Dunedin at Kūkū
292 South Road, Caversham, Dunedin
This is easily the best coffee in Dunedin. I’ve known Jared for years. He had been roasting beans for other people, but opened his own place in Caversham about a year and a half ago. It’s a wee hub. Jared has his record player and his custom powder coated La Marzotto coffee machine, and is open five days a week. I always go in and have big chats with Jared. I think this is the only organic roastery in Dunedin. We get him to make batches for our coffee ice cream.
Colin McCahon at the Hocken
90 Anzac Avenue, Dunedin Central
People don’t realise that the Hocken Library and its collections are free and open to the public. The University Library has New Zealand’s biggest archive of maps and photos, as well as one of the most important McCahon collections in the country. The current McCahon exhibition is showing works between the mid-1930s and 1970s, and is an acknowledgment of McCahon’s relationship with Dunedin.
Half a cray at the FishWife
145 Haven Street, Moeraki
This was my lockdown craving, the first place I wanted to go and eat. The FishWife is a great little trip out of Dunedin. A shipping container up the road from Fleur’s restaurant, and right by the sea looking out on a wee inlet. They serve freshly caught crayfish and blue cod and paua, plus yummy salads and baked goodies. They also run fishing charters.
Celery slaw from The Dumpling Lady
Otago University Campus
I have to shout out to another food truck - The Dumpling Lady makes the best handmade dumplings. The owner is an absolute crack up, so funny. Her truck is on campus during Uni and then pops up at markets over summer. She makes amazing steamed buns, and don’t miss the big table with the delicious condiments she makes - a celery slaw and hot spicy chilli sauce.
Watch the surfers at Whareakeake
This right-hand point break is one of Otago’s surf breaks of national significance. When there’s a northeasterly swell and the surf is pumping, this place gets quite busy. I’m a body boarder and I’ve surfed here quite a few times. The massive right-hand break just goes forever. Loads of people just come down to watch the surfers, and even when there’s no swell, it’s a beautiful place to visit. The gravel road down to the beach is pretty steep, but worth the effort.
Experience Dunedin on a trike
50 The Octagon, Dunedin Central
I haven’t done the Experience Dunedin Tours myself, but I’m really keen. I’ve seen Andrew and his enormous V8, five-seater trike bike going past my truck in St Clair. Such a cool way to see some Dunedin spots with the wind in your hair. Apparently the trike bike has heated seats too.
Feel smart at University Bookshop
378 Great King Street North, North Dunedin
I was homeschooled in the UK and my dad was obsessed with buying books. I still love a good bookshop and always hunt them out when I’m travelling. You feel smart, being in a bookshop. The University Bookshop on campus is awesome - a nice place to go and relax and have a look around. It’s really well curated with super friendly staff. They have loads of cooking and culinary books. I found numerous specialist ice cream books here when I was starting Patti’s & Cream.