St Bathans

Steeped in history with a dazzling landscape, St Bathans is famed for its startling Blue Lake and the Vulcan Hotel, said to be haunted.

Nested under Mt St Bathans and surrounded by the spectacular Hawkdun Ranges and Dunstan Mountains, St Bathans is approximately 40 minutes drive northeast of Alexandra and 25 minutes from Ranfurly. Turn off Highway 85 just past Becks onto St Bathans Loop Road and travel for 15 minutes.

Established in 1863, this Central Otago town once consisted of more than 2000 miners and a surprising 13 hotels. Now the permanent population is less than 10. View restored stone fences, the Anglican Church, bank, stone houses, school ruins, Catholic Church and billiard hall. A highlight is the two-storey high Kauri Post Office (1909).

The Blue Lake was created during the Otago gold mining era. It started as a hill and was reduced to a pit from which shafts and then hydraulic elevators brought up gravel for sluicing. In its day it was the deepest mining hole in the Southern Hemisphere. When mining stopped, it flooded full of water. The blue color of the lake is caused by the mineral content of the surrounding, visually striking cliffs.

The famous Vulcan Hotel, constructed of sun dried mud brick, dates back to 1882. It is said to be haunted by a female ghost, which was the inspiration behind the name of a local triathlon event, Ghost to Ghost. A shamrock on the front facade of the Vulcan is a reminder of the rivalry between the Irish settlers from St Bathans and the Welsh settlers from nearby Cambrians, known as The War of the Roses.

Enjoy swimming and boating on the lake, admire the amazing colours all around or conjure up images of yesteryear with a stroll down St Bathans’ main street.
Alexandra/Clyde - Cycling Trails
Nestled in the expansive Manuherikia Valley surrounded by majestic block-mountains is the commercial hub of Alexandra. Experience the drama of its contrasting seasons – blossoms in spring, the fragrance of wild thyme in summer, the golden glows of autumn and the mystical beauty of winter. Read More

Cromwell/Bannockburn - Cycling Trails
Surrounded by treeless mountain ranges and the powerful Clutha and Kawarau Rivers that converge to form Lake Dunstan, is Cromwell; the place to experience its abundance of sun-ripened fruits, award winning wines and rich mining past. Read More

Ranfurly/Naseby - Cycling Trails
This land of vast open space with tor-studded mountain ranges is timeless. Discover remnants of its gold mining past, the heartland of the high country drover, empty roads and sleepy little townships, and Ranfurly – New Zealand’s rural art deco oasis. Read More

Roxburgh - Cycling Trails
Set in the Teviot Valley amongst farmland and a patchwork of orchards, roadside stalls laden with the best of summer fruits is Roxburgh – home to the ‘world famous’ Jimmy’s Pies, stunning vistas and the mighty Clutha River at its best. Read More

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
site maplegal information | login
evoSuite Tourism Marketing Software | Crafted by SquareCircle