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Central Otago, New ZealandCromwell Scenic Highlights

Cromwell | Regional Information | Activity Highlights | Scenic Highlights | History

The wild colours of autumn in Cromwell contrast vividly with bright blue skies. Willows and poplars turn gold and amber along the riverbanks and roadsides.

Cromwell Scenic Highlights Overview

Cromwell is a place of dramatic scenery. Discover schist mountains studded with tors and vast valleys that were scoured by glaciers during the ice age surrounding Cromwell. The climatic extremes repaint the landscape with every season.

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The Man-Made Fascination of Clyde Dam and Lake Dunstan

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Lake Dunstan, Cromwell, Central Otago, New Zealand
Lake Dunstan, Cromwell
Central Otago
Photographer: Hiroshi Nameda
(hnamechan@hotmail.com)

Clyde Dam is the largest concrete gravity dam in New Zealand, consisting of one million cubic metres of concrete. It's height is 100 metres, width at base is 70 metres, width at crest is 10 metres and length at crest is 490 metres.

Controversy surrounded the building of the dam, which saw a number of orchards and houses removed from the Cromwell Gorge to allow the flooding of the river valley.

The lake formed by the dam, Lake Dunstan, is 26.4 square kilometres in size. Its recreational uses include waterskiing, boating, canoeing, jet boating, boat cruises and eco-tours of the abundant fish and bird life. The lake extends from the historical township of Clyde through the Cromwell Gorge to Cromwell township, with one arm travelling up the Kawarau River to Bannockburn and the other widening out over the Lowburn Flats.

» Clyde Dam Information

Old Cromwell Town

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Queenstown to Cromwell, Central Otago, Central Otago, New Zealand
Queenstown to Cromwell
Central Otago
Photographer: Hiroshi Nameda
(hnamechan@hotmail.com)

When the Clyde Dam was completed in 1992, the valley behind it was flooded to create Lake Dunstan. Because of this, much of the Cromwell town centre historic buildings were painstakingly moved to higher ground by dedicated volunteers. Others that could not be moved were taken apart and faithfully reconstructed...stone-by-stone and plank-by-plank.

Now the original site of Cromwell's historic business district at the junction of the Kawarau and Clutha Rivers now lies at the bottom of the lake.

Visitors can wander through the historic precinct of Old Cromwell Town to inspect buildings from 1860 to 1900 that reflect the town's gold mining and pioneering past. These include the London House Stables, Captain Barry's cottage, the Cobb and Co Store, Belfast Store and Jolly's Seed & Grain Store. In front of the restored town centre, a wharf provides a convenient departure point for tours of Lake Dunstan aboard a beautifully restored 1929 wooden motor launch.

» Old Cromwell Town Information

» Cromwell Travel Directory

Cromwell Accommodation

Cromwell is a popular tourist destination and offers a wide range of accommodation options:

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Useful Cromwell Links

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Cromwell Region Information

Cromwell Tourism Operators

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Mainstay New Zealand Hotels

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Large collection of independent hotels.

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Featured

 
Mainstay New Zealand Hotels

Mainstay NZ Hotels

Large collection of independent hotels.

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels

Holiday packages for any occasion.

Distinction Hotels

Distinction Hotels

Great hotels in great NZ wide locations.