Central Otago, New ZealandCentral Otago Regional Information

Central Otago | Regional Information | Activity Highlights | Scenic Highlights | History

Once the scene of a mighty gold rush, Otago is now appreciated for its powerful, moody landscape. Learn the history of Central Otago while you find its special places.

Central Otago Overview

Otago, New Zealand
Otago, New Zealand

Located in the centre of the South Island, inland from Dunedin, Central Otago comprises a series of river basins and deep river gorges.

Central Otago is the only region in New Zealand to experience a near continental climate, having the hottest summers and coldest winters in New Zealand. Old trails that provided access for thousands of miners in the gold rush of the 1860s can still be seen winding over the hills, along with stone cottages, cleverly engineered water channels, mines and machinery associated with the gold rush.

The towns of Alexandra, Clyde, Cromwell, Roxburgh and Ranfurly are ideal bases for explorations of the surrounding historical countryside. Alexandra, the main town on the Clutha River, is the centre for stone fruit, particularly golden apricots.

Hydro electric dams along the Clutha River have formed Lake Roxburgh and Lake Dunstan. These now offer a range of recreational opportunities, from power boating and fishing to windsurfing and sailing.

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Central Otago Highlights

Wine has become one of Central Otago's newest claims to fame. Many of the wineries offer tastings throughout the summer months.

Central Otago can also offer you the thrill of mountain biking through remote tussock and the leisurely pleasure of a stroll through wild mountain flowers. Arts, crafts and fine regional food are other reasons to come. And then there's the jet boating, gold panning and ice skating on a clear winter's day.

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Lake Dunstan, Cromwell, Central Otago, New Zealand
Lake Dunstan, Cromwell
Central Otago
Photographer: Hiroshi Nameda

Central Otago is as much a place in people's hearts as a region outlined on a map. It's a special place. A place of holidays. A place touched by golden history. A place where nature's most powerful elements combine to create a unique and enchanting environment.

Main Centres in Central Otago

  • Alexandra - known for its fruit orchards
  • Cromwell - by the shores of Lake Dunstan
  • Ranfurly - in the heart of the Maniototo a village with a rich art deco architecture
  • Roxburgh - service town for the fruit growing region of the Teviot Valley

Useful Central Otago Links

To help plan your Central Otago holiday choose from the main categories below:

Useful Otago Links

To help plan your Otago holiday choose from the main categories below:

Send an Otago related E-Postcard to your friends.

Otago Region Information

Otago Tourism Operators


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