Olveston Historic Home

Heritage Attractions in Otago
Price range:
$20.00 - $100.00


Olveston was built as the home of the Theomin family. It was gifted to the City of Dunedin upon the death of Miss Dorothy Theomin in 1966.

Olveston is a time capsule as little changed inside the house since it was occupied by the family 1906 to 1966. It is an authentic and original historic house depicting the way of life of a well to do family in the early part of the twentieth century.

Guided tours are available in English. Group Bookings (8 people or more) are available with Mandarin, Cantonese, German, French, Japanese and Dutch speaking guides. Please advise us in advance of your visit (48 hrs notice is required).

Free visitor parking is available on request from Reception.


#1 - Olveston Historic Home, 1-hr guided house tour

Spend a magical hour absorbing the atmosphere in the Theomin family's historic Dunedin home, Olveston. Be transported to an era of fine living, grace and style. Gain an insight into the daily running of an early 20th-century household of quality.

Daily (except Christmas Day)

Bookings recommended

For Dunedin Resident or Concession bookings please contact T: 03 477 3320 or E: reception@olveston.co.nz.

#2 - Exclusive Private guided tours

Experience an exclusive private guided tour of Olveston. Enter via the front door and discover the treasures of New Zealand's finest Edwardian Stately Home. Complete with the original contents of the house, private tours of the home reveal the richly furnished rooms in addition to areas of the house generally closed to the public including the basement suite, collection storage and partake of refreshments served in the wine cellar.

A 2-hr guided tour of the Theomin family's historic home, reveals the fascinating lives of the Theomin Family and close inspection of the collection of fine art, artefacts and furniture from around the world during a relaxed and unhurried visit.

Private tours arranged at times to suit when the house is unoccupied by other visitors(evenings included).

$80 per person.

Minimum group size 2 people, maximum 8 people.

Please indicate your preferred tour commence time at the time of booking and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

#3 - Olveston Specialist House Tour request

Olveston offers a range of specialist tours, focusing on specific collections and social history areas associated with the Theomin Family and Olveston.

Focus tours available include:

- Olveston and surrounds - a walking tour of Royal Terrace exploring the eclectic community, which included Breweries, Bars, Politicians, Brothels and Business.

- Furnishings and Fabrics - explores the rich textile collection on display and in storage.

- Art Tours - over 240 works grace the walls at Olveston, learn about them and how they came into the collection.

- Housekeeper's tour - learn about keeping Olveston 'Ship shape and Bristol Fashion' above and below stairs (includes access to areas of the house not normally open to the public).

- Silver Treasures - discover more about the metal collection at Olveston and how to keep it in top class condition.

- The Theomin's and Japan - journey with the Theomin's across Asia in the early 1900s, focusing on the Olveston Japanese collection of weaponry, ivory and porcelain.

Group bookings at times to suit available on request, maximum group size 8 people.

#4 - Art Collectors tours (Sundays 3-5pm)

The Theomin Art Collection was a
cquired by the family between the late 1800s and the early 1960s and graces every wall of every room. Artists represented in the collection include Frances Hodgkins, William Mathew Hodgkins, Grace Joel, C. F. Goldie, Sir Russell Flint. The collection also contains works after Fra Filippo Lippi and Veronese.

A tour of Art Collection offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the works in the collection and the collecting passions and tastes of one of Dunedin's most cultured and generous families.

The Theomin Art Collection Tour is available every Sunday, 3-5pm.
Tickets: Adults $32.50; Children $17.50 per person (min booking, 2 people).

Also available on request, book a fascinating private Art Tour featuring Frances Hodgkins, the artist, her artworks and her connections in the Theomin Art collection.

Groups are limited to 8 people per tour. Bookings are essential.

#5 - Edwardian Garden Games

Enjoy a tour of Olveston and learn the finer art of croquet; with the expert tuition of a championship croquet player.

Over 2-hours, enjoy a personal guided house tour and then enjoy croquet with a cup of tea served on the lawn.

$100 for 4 people, additional people $25.

Contact Olveston T 03 477 3320 to discuss your preferred tour time / arrival or leave a message in comments section at the time of on-line booking via the Bookit website.

Bring a picnic or we can arrange on for you - again, contact Olveston or please leave a message in the comments section outlining your request.

#6 - Evening guided tours for six people or more

Enjoy a Private guided tour of Olveston for you and your friends. Minimum group size 6 people.

$100 for 6 people.
Please advise start time between 4.30pm and 6.30pm at the time of booking request.

Additional People charged at Adults $16, children $11

#7 - Family Tours

Visit Olveston as a family of 5 for $60 and enjoy a private 1-hr tour of this stately home.

Learn about the Theomin household the family and their staff and re-live life as it was in the early 1900s.

$65 (for 2 Adults and up to 3 Children) additional: Adults 16 | Child: $11

The family tour is also available on request, at a time to suit your group. Bring more of your family on your tour and make a house-party of your visit. Arrange your tour at a time to suit (between 9am and 4pm), maximum group size 12 people.

#8 - Garden tour and morning/afternoon tea

Join Olveston gardener Sarah Goldsmith for a guided tour and learn about the history of the gardens at Olveston and its transformation over the past 100 years.

Available for groups, on request.
$80pp includes 1hr tour with tea, coffee and biscuits.


avatar - Jun 2017 -


We really enjoyed our visit. The guide was really knowledgable and gave us a great insight as to how some people lived. The house is a credit to Dunedin and a must to visit. Thank you so much

avatar - Apr 2017 -


Beautiful home. Knowledgeable tour guide. Antiques galore. So interesting to see how people lived back in the early days and how the home was kept for the city of Dunedin.

avatar - Mar 2017 -


Very beautiful old house with amazing treasures. We were transported into another grand era. Thanks to a well informed guide, we have learned a lot about a lifestyle gone by!

avatar - Mar 2017 -


Good service and thoroughly enjoyed the tour.

avatar - Feb 2017 -


Sue as an amazing guide.she was full,of knowledge and interacted well with the visitors. would thoroughly recommend


If a cancellation is made within 24 hours of arrival day, loss of 100% of the total booking price.