Wains Hotel – Dunedin

The Wains Hotel Building (frequently spelt grammatically but incorrectly as Wain’s Hotel) is a historic hotel building in Dunedin, New Zealand. It is currently occupied by the Park Regis Dunedin hotel.
Job Wain started his first hotel in downtown Dunedin in the 1860s, at the height of the Central Otago gold rush. Business flourished, and when the Commercial Bank next door closed Wain expanded his business into that building. He continued to buy nearby properties, and in 1878 contracted to have a major new structure — costing £14,000 — built in Princes Street, designed by Mason, Wales, & Stevenson. At that time, the Exchange area where the hotel was constructed was the heart of Dunedin’s central business district, so it was very well positioned for major trade.
Wains Hotel has an Italianate style, with an elaborate façade noted for its columns, pilasters, and carved figures. At ground level, substantial columns of Port Chalmers basalt breccia rise, topped with capitals of Kakanui limestone. These columns support arches above which sit carved figures of Bacchus, Neptune, and mermaids. The entranceway is topped by a stone balustrade featuring an eagle as its keystone. The upper storeys are equally ornate. Inside, doors and fittings of Tasmanian blackwood complemented the exterior’s grandeur.
The building is classified as a Category I historic place by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.


  • Kitchen staff have mentioned a man that has been seen, wearing 1950s attire. He appears when staff are acting up, or being disruptive. It is thought that he might be a previous manager keeping and eye on the place.
  • A woman in Victorian dress was seen in the reception area on a security camera, yet wasnt seen by anyone there are that time.
  • A staff member there mentioned that her husband saw the apparent ghost of a Victorian woman wearing a scarf.
  • There have been reports sent in of a young boy being seen  up on the 5th and 6th floors.
  • The sounds of children have also been heard up on those floors when none are staying in any of the rooms.


  1. Wendy

    My Husband and I have just stayed here for 3 nights. We were unaware it was haunted .In the morning after the first nights stay, my husband asked me if I had heard children running in the corridor at a bout 4am.I had not Then he said it sounded like they were then playing in our room. But he could not see anyone. My husband is always a heavy sleeper and never remembers ever having dreams. Spooky.

  2. Carol

    I stayed here about 5yrs ago, also didn’t realise it was haunted at the time but had a few experiences I thought was odd.
    I heard the children playing multiple times but on investigating couldn’t see them anywhere, also went up a floor but no one there.
    Also when I left my room to explore Dunedin, I couldn’t get back in (on two occasions), on going to Reception to check, they said my swipe card was now programmed to open a room down the hall !? When I eventually got back in, I felt someone else had been in my room/potentially still in my room (I didn’t sleep that well after this). On leaving, as I couldn’t explain the occurances or how I was feeling, I googled to see if it was haunted and came across this site and the comments about the children playing, resonated.

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