Big Sky Walking Festival - Central Otago     

April 27 - 29 2018


Stunning views, our brilliant blue day-time skies and clear bright night-time skies, our unmistakeable autumn weather and glorious colours, the largest river in New Zealand, hawks and perhaps a falcon or other native bird, tough native plants and cryptic lizards and grasshoppers may all be enjoyed. Our towns have historic architecture and you can share tall tales at our cafes, restaurants, wineries and breweries after your walk.
Any funds raised from this Festival will be used to help increase the native biodiversity of our area and to develop a bigger and better Walking Festival for 2019.

Sorry, no dogs and no smoking on any of these walks.

Places on all walks are limited so book now

Most walks will have a shuttle to and from meeting places. Details will be given once payment is received.

Choose from five walks guided by friendly and knowledgeable locals that explore our unique natural heritage, our recent built heritage and the gold-mining era. Walks are graded from 1 (easy urban stroll in comfortable walking shoes) to 5 (longer walk in boots on rough ground, not always on a track).

NIGHT SKY WALK

Grade 2 (it will be dark, bring a headlamp or torch). Friday evening, 27 April, 7-9pm. ($12, includes transport). Dress warmly and bring a beanie, gloves and a windproof top layer.
Use the Central Otago Astronomy Society’s telescopes or your own binoculars to explore the bright lights of the Central Otago sky. We can’t guarantee cloudless skies but if they are clear, the sparkling beauty of our night sky may shock you.
Click here to book a spot on the Night Walk

RIVER WALK

Grade 3 (not hard, but 9km). Saturday morning, 28 April, 9am-12pm. $30 (includes transport).
Accompany our mighty Mataau/Clutha river as it races down from the Clyde Dam towards Alexandra. Even after some of its energy has been extracted for electricity this is a very powerful river. The fabulous autumn colours of Central Otago might be at their peak. Find gold-mining relics and perhaps native plants and birds and look for the endemic and Nationally Endangered tarapiroe (black-fronted tern or riverbed tern).
Click here to book a spot on the River Walk

BIG SKY WALK

Grade 3 (starts uphill, ends downhill, not all of it is on a track). Saturday afternoon 28 April, 1-3pm. $25 (includes transport).
Experience the stunning vastness of the Central Otago landscape on this journey. Stumble through the thyme but look up to Haehaeata (first to see the light) at 1,647masl on the Dunstan Mountains, east across the Waikerikeri alluvial fan to the Hawkdun Range, west across Clyde and the Mataau/Clutha to the Cairnmuir Range and south past Alexandra to Kopuwai at 1,682masl on the Old Man Range with the Knobby Range further east.
Click here to book a spot on the Big Sky Walk

ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE WALK

Grade 1 (a stroll). Saturday afternoon, 28 April, 4-5.30pm. $12.
Observe the progression from wood and tin structures to sturdy local stone buildings as you explore the remnants of the historic gold rush village of Clyde. Discover the modern use of our old buildings, see the dynamics of continuing change in the heritage landscape and draw your own conclusions on authenticity in our 'old mining town'.
Click here to book a spot on the Architectural Walk

WOODLAND DISCOVERY WALK

Grade 4 (rough ground, loose rock, not all of it is on a track ,boots are best). Sunday morning, 29 April, 10am-2pm (bring lunch). $30 (includes transport).
Great views on this landscape journey. Walk up to a QEII Covenant in a steep, rocky, valley which hides a kowhai forest. Central Otago was once largely woodland and kowhai were very common. Many other native plants, some endemic, several At Risk, will be seen along the way. Mokomoko (lizards), kahu (hawks), karearea (falcons) and many of our flying and jumping insects are usually seen. The fascinating schist geology of our area is apparent from the vantage points and the fossil and recent history and Lake Manuherekia will be explained. You will discover the complexities of our special dryland landscape and our past and recent geological and biological history.
Click here to book a spot on the Woodland Discovery Walk
Planning
Otago Central Rail Trail
Discover New Zealand's Original Great Ride - The Otago Central Rail Trail is a relaxing 4-5 day ride through big sky landscapes and through historic townships. Read More

Roxburgh Gorge Trail
Explore New Zealand's Grand Canyon - The Roxburgh Gorge Trail is a unique one day experience. Described as 'Another World' this 34km trail includes a unique jet boat transfer. Read More

Clutha Gold Trail
A 73km journey of discovery through a tapestry of diverse landscapes from seductively rugged semi-arid dry lands through to lush green contoured farmlands that follow powerful Clutha Mata Au River. Read More

Mountain Bike Trails
Whether you’re looking for an adrenalin-pumping single track descent, a long backcountry journey, or a heli biking adventure then the Central Otago region has an experience to suit your style. Read More

Cycle a Great Ride
Central Otago boasts three of NZ's best trails. Otago Central Rail Trail - the original great ride; Roxburgh Gorge Trail - a unique one-day trail complete with jet boat ride; Clutha Gold Trail - a journey of discovery along the mighty Clutha Mata-au river. Read More

Cycling & Mountain Biking Trails
Central Otago boasts a diversity of cycling and mountain bike trails that beckon the cyclist to experience the freedom and the joy of getting off the beaten track. Read More

Clutha Gold Trail
The Clutha Gold Trail is one of the 'Great Rides' of the Nga Haerenga, New Zealand Cycle Trail. The trail is full of variety - from undulating to flat to meandering, there is a journey of discovery around every corner. Read More

Getting to Central Otago
The Central Otago region is located in the middle of the South Island of New Zealand. A scenic a 1hr drive from Queenstown International Airport and accessible via road from Dunedin & Christchurch airports. Read More

Roxburgh Gorge Trail
A spectacular one-day ride through truly iconic country between Alexandra and Roxburgh Dam along the Clutha Mata-au River is a trail worth exploring. Read More

Motorsport Mecca
Be amazed at Highlands in Cromwell. With a world class museum, range of on and off track activities and annual events there is something for everyone whether a car fanatic or not. Read More

Central Otago Wine
Indulge yourself in a premium Central Otago wine at one of the many wineries or cellar doors in the Cromwell and Alexandra basins – sensational! 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 | Web Design by ReserveGroup