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Tourism is a growth industry in Central Otago. While the proximity of Queenstown ensures good visitor flows through the region, Central Otago’s tourism industry is evolving in a complementary way to Queenstown’s. Central Otago’s appeal increasingly centres on assets such as the Otago Central Rail Trail and opportunities for outdoor pursuits, such as fishing, orchard tours, curling, golf, mountain biking and kayaking. Central Otago wines have undoubtedly raised the district’s profile in a positive way and there is also growing interest in Central Otago’s gold mining history and heritage.

Central Otago is also an increasingly popular setting for multi-sport events including the famous three-day Goldrush event. Other annual events define the character of Central Otago tourism. These include, but are not limited to, the Alexandra Blossom Festival, the Ranfurly Rural Art Deco weekend and the Cavalcade event that involves overland treks on horseback over a variety of historic trails and routes. 

Tourism Central Otago is the Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) for Central Otago. It is a unit of the District Development Department of Central Otago District Council and is ratepayer funded. A 10 Year Tourism Strategy was developed by a working party and focus groups representing key tourism industry stakeholders in 2007. Tourism Central Otago is guided by the priorities identified in the strategy. It works closely with Tourism New Zealand, local and national tourism organisations to co-ordinate and facilitates the marketing of Central Otago as a Visitor Destination.

In addition, each area has its own promotion group. These local promotion groups (Alexandra, Cromwell, Maniototo and Dunstan) are also an excellent source of information. 

Recent growth has outstripped the national average and the indications are that it will remain a strong performer in the local economy.

Business Directory
Business Groups & Organisations
There are a range of business groups and organisations in Central Otago for networking, advice and business support. Find out details of when and where they meet and how you can contact them. Read More

Economic Development Strategy
The Economic Development strategy’s key purpose is to help the Central Otago community focus on issues that impact on our economic and social well-being, and to suggest some of the actions we can take over the next few years to address them. Read More
Central Otago Food & Wine
Central Otago 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

Central Otago Towns
Central Otago Towns 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. Read More

Cycle Central Otago
Cycle Central Otago The entire region is criss-crossed with smaller cycling and mountain biking trails for the adventurous or the leisure cyclist and there are lengths to suit any time you might have available. Whether you’re looking to take a holiday with the family, a weekend with friends or a romantic escape, cycling in Central Otago offers something different and memorable. Read More
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