Wains Hotel

310 Princes Street, Dunedin

  • Wains Hotel, Dunedin. CC BY 2.0 Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: denisbin. Taken By: denisbin. Date: 16/10/2016.
  • Wains Hotel, Dunedin.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Rebecca O'Brien. Date: 5/05/2009.
  • Wains Hotel, Dunedin. Building detail, wing-spread eagle. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Derek Smith . Taken By: Derek Smith - travelling-light. Date: 28/08/2010.
  • Wains Hotel, Dunedin. Building detail shows the figures of King Nepture and a mermaid. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Phil Braithwaite. Taken By: PhilBee NZ - Phil Braithwaite. Date: 4/04/2012.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 2236 Date Entered 26th November 1987


City/District Council

Dunedin City


Otago Region

Legal description

Pt Sec 31 Blk VI Town of Dunedin

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

The hotel was an expression of the wealth of Otago's gold mining period. Job Wain's opulent Victorian interior matched the façade in style and was grand enough to make the hotel famous throughout Australasia.


The façade is typical of the development of this classical style in New Zealand.


An important Victorian façade close to the Queens Gardens precinct of Victorian buildings.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Roestenburg, M

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description


The style of the façade decoration is Italianate Classical Renaissance.


Modernisation in recent years has completely transformed the interior and no vestige of its Victorian grandeur remains. Except for fire escapes the façade is relatively unmodified.

Notable Features

The carved figures of Neptune and other classical figures over the doors.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1879 -

Construction Details

Materials used are Port Chalmers breccia for the pediment, Oamaru stone for the walls, triple brick for interior bearing walls and slate for the roof.

Information Sources

Galer, 1982

L. Galer, Bricks and Mortar, Allied Press Ltd, Dunedin, 1982.

Other Information

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.