» Things to Do

Things to do in Central Otago

Central Otago is New Zealand’s most inland region, also it’s hottest, coldest and driest. The region celebrates a magnificent natural and historic wealth; distinguished through its expansive landscapes, defined seasons, distinctive heritage, year round curling, wine trails and New Zealand’s first rail trail.

Set your own tempo of activity in Central Otago. Cycle a section of the Otago Central Rail Trail, taste award winning wines in amazing locations, try curling year round, play a round of golf at any one of the 11 golf courses, cruise the Clutha River, visit picturesque historic gold mining towns or just kick back and relax at one of the many boutique historic or heritage accommodation places. Central Otago is a place where you relax, indulge and rejuvenate. 

Central Otago is readily accessible by main highways from Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill, Queenstown and the West Coast via Wanaka. Dunedin International Airport is 2.5 hours from Alexandra and Queenstown International Airport is a short 40 minute drive from Cromwell.

Central Otago has four distinct seasons and is coldest in the winter, however the climate is mostly dry and sunny all year!

The people of Central Otago have a strong sense of “Love of Place” and are proud to share their place with visitors. It is a place which truly offers A World of Difference.

Planning
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

Arts, Crafts & Galleries
Arts, Crafts and Galleries Unexpected treasures can be found in Central Otago, created by the true identities of the region, the locals. Art galleries and craft shops can be found in the small towns, revealing the talents of local artists and the opportunity to take home a true piece of Central Otago. Read More

Bike Hire & Cycle Shops
Hiring bikes when you visit Central Otago is a good option. There is a choice of companies to hire from and between them they cover all possible options for mountain bikers and recreational cyclists. Bikes range from children’s through to adult bikes. Children’s seats, baby seats and trailers are available. Read More

Air Activities
Central Otago viewed from the air is a sight to behold. A series of valley systems, mountain ranges and lakes set under amazing blue skies ensures that whatever time of the year you fly the experience will remain with you. Take to the skies with a scenic helicopter ride or charter flight. Read More

Book your holiday.
The Central Otago Visitor Centres are local experts who can offer advice and a free booking service for all your holiday requirements including; accommodation, activities and transport. Read More

Four Wheel Driving
Four-wheel driving in Central Otago provides opportunities to access and enjoy some of New Zealand’s most striking and majestic scenery, a landscape of unsurpassed stark beauty. The unique vast, open terrain tells its own tales of hardship and prosperity as settlers seeking fortunes in gold and farming have often struggled to survive. Read More

Heritage & Museums
There are many places and way to explore the heritage of Central Otago, from farming, to gold, to fashion and retail. Retrace the gold rush at the Alexandra and Cromwell Museums, and in many smaller community museums found throughout Central Otago. Read More

Tracks and Walks
All year round Central Otago has a range of walking options from strolling to trekking, 15 minutes to a day or more. Most are in natural surroundings or highlight the history of gold discovery and production. Explore heritage towns and tracks first used in the 1860’s. Come and enjoy our world of difference. Read More

Wildflowers
Delight in a ramble amongst the natural beauty of Central Otago’s wildflowers. Flourishing along roadsides, river edges, and in valleys, hills and mountains, countless varieties adorn landscapes – many of them rare and some endemic to their location. Whatever the season, a walk through Central Otago’s wonderful wildflowers is enchanting. Read More

Fishing
Central Otago, New Zealand is an angler’s paradise. There is a fantastic variety of fishing opportunities in a place where vast mountain vistas are usually the backdrop. Whether its safe and easy access for the family outing, or off the beaten track to a discreet fishing location, the choices are many and varied. Read More

Gold Heritage
Discover towering sluiced cliffs, herringbone tailings, tunnels, water races, tailraces, dams, stone masonry, mud-brick cottages and assorted relics. Follow in the footsteps of the adventurers before you. Marvel at their feats, be awed by their audacity and revel in the excitement of your discoveries on the Central Otago goldfields. Read More
Central Otago - Our Regional Identity
Central Otago - Our Regional Identity '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

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
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