Places to visit in Central Otago

To travel to Central Otago is to journey into New Zealand’s golden heartland. Its many towns and settlements are founded on the pioneering spirit and back-breaking toil of farming run-holders and adventure-seeking gold miners. These places lie nestled amid the grandeur of towering mountain ranges, stunning rocky tors, sweeping plains, valleys, gorges and meandering and mighty rivers.

The vibrant commercial centre of Alexandra is the region’s business, cultural and political capital. All the services and conveniences of a modern centre are here. Nearby the historic Clyde township is home to a hydro-electric dam. The area includes the Earnscleugh Valley and Fruitlands with orchards, vineyards and gold mining remnants. 

Cromwell is a growing commercial centre situated on Lake Dunstan. The area is known as the fruit bowl because of its orchards. Farming has long history here and there is also a strong quartz mining heritage. Viticulture has successfully emerged in recent times and is particularly prominent at Bannockburn

Roxburgh is situated along the banks of the Clutha River and is another famous fruit growing area. The lake was formed by the nearby hydro-electric dam and like Cromwell’s Lake Dunstan, it hosts a variety of recreational water activities.

Long empty roads stretch out to the sleepy townships of the Manuherikia Valley. There are historic schist stone and mud-brick cottages buildings along the way. Ophir and St Bathans are particularly well-preserved living townships of the gold rush. The latter is close to the Blue Lake and with its glaring-white cliffs – a consequence of hydraulic digging.

The Maniototo Plains of Central Otago feature remnants of the gold mining era and irrigated pastures. The historic Hayes Engineering works showcases some of farming’s best innovations. Maniototo’s many townships include Naseby the country’s curling (ancient, Scottish ice sport) capital with a full indoor rink; and Ranfurly, famous for its art-deco architecture.
Alexandra & Clyde
Alexandra is situated at the conjunction of two rivers; the Manuherikia and the mighty Clutha. Upstream is the historic township of Clyde. Read More

Cromwell & Bannockburn
You can enjoy a world class wine experience at one of the picturesque cellar doors, sample seasonal fruits or shop in the Cromwell Heritage Precinct. Read More

Ranfurly, Naseby & the Maniototo
Discover picturesque quaint historic gold mining and farming towns, pastoral valleys, rocky tors and the awesome sprawling Maniototo plain. Read More

Roxburgh & the Teviot Valley
Taste exquisite summer fruits of cherries, apricots, plums nectarines, peaches, pears, berries and apples at roadside orchard stalls. Read More
Our Regional Identity - A World of Difference
Our Regional Identity - A World of Difference 'A World of Difference' defines what is uniquely Central Otago as a place and a community. Read More

Central Otago NZ - Through Local Eyes
Central Otago NZ - Through Local Eyes Meet some unique and passionate Central Otago locals and be introduced to their favourite places and activities. Read More

Food & Wine
Food & Wine Central Otago is a place of sheer indulgence – whether it’s fine dining, a casual al-fresco lunch or café culture. You will be spoilt for choice when enjoying local fare and award winning wines at the great selection of cafés, restaurants, cellar doors and country pubs. Read More
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