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3 Days - Queenstown to Christchurch via the Maniototo & Oamaru

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Approximate drive times

Queenstown to Clyde 1.10 hour (SH6&8)
Clyde to Ranfurly 1.10 hour (SH85)
Ranfurly to Oamaru 1.30 hour (SH85 & 1)
Oamaru to Christchurch 3 hour (SH1)

Natural light reflects off the velvet folds of magnificent mountain ranges onto pastoral valleys, rocky tors and the awesome sprawling Maniototo Plain.

Throughout this vast landscape remnants of a prosperous gold mining past are evident, it is a timeless land where the Taieri River meanders lazily and isolated roads stretch by irrigated farmlands and picturesque old gold mining townships.

Day One: Depart Queenstown to Ranfurly via Clyde
Clyde is a quaint well preserved town of the gold rush era. Take time to meander through the main street.

Discover a piece of New Zealand’s agricultural history
Hayes Engineering Works is Kiwi ingenuity brought to life. Ernest Hayes’ small workshop was established in 1895, and by the 1930’s had grown into a business with a worldwide reputation, providing farmers with innovative agricultural tools, hardware and equipment.

Stop at Gilchrists Store in Oturehua, trading since 1902 where you can see static displays of trading memorabilia.

Hot Time on Ice with Maniototo Curling International
Curling – the thrill of sliding 20kg of granite stone along ice to a target 42 metres away. The township of Naseby is the curling capital of New Zealand with the first international indoor curling rink open all year round. The ancient Scottish game of curling with its traditions and etiquette have become a part of the folklore of Central Otago.

In two short hours you too can learn how to play this ancient sport, with broom, stone and tuition provided.

Day Two: Ranfurly
Experience the magic of the ‘Big Sky Country’
Explore the Maniototo hinterland on a horse trekking or guided 4WD experience from half to full day trips.

Take a full day tour encompassing spectacular high country including Naseby and several goldfields. Or follow in the footsteps of eighteenth century gold miners on a Goldfields Tour – visiting goldfield towns of Naseby, Hamiltons, Kyeburn Diggings, Patearoa and St Bathans. Or you may choose to visit local merino stud and dairy farms.

Day Three: Depart Ranfurly mid-morning to Oamaru
Ranfurly is a Rural Art Deco town, a hidden architectural oasis. Visit the Maniototo Visitor Information Centre in the old Railway Station for in depth knowledge on the Maniototo and the Otago Central Rail Trail.

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