Bannockburn, Bendigo, Cromwell, Lowburn, Queensberry, Ripponvale, Tarras
Hot, dry climates cultivate golden fruits and award winning wines below tawny hills, where fine-wool Merino sheep graze. Wildflowers line roadsides, and powerful rivers cut awesome gorges to a lake, and its expanding town.
Bannockburn is a place of fledgling vineyards, orchards, and fantastic vistas to a tangible gold mining heritage and recreational opportunities. Just 5km south-west of Cromwell the stone pillar entrance sign welcomes you to Bannockburn the ‘Heart of the Desert’. Enjoy wine tasting, seasonal fruits and relax at the Bannockburn inlet – ideal for picnicking, swimming and boating.
Cromwell was originally located at a junction of the Clutha and Kawarau Rivers. Lake Dunstan was formed in 1993 when the Clyde Dam was completed, flooding part of the original town centre. Many pioneer buildings were rescued and relocated to an historic precinct in Cromwell's current location, on the lake shore.
Jackson's Lookout views the waters over the original town. The reconstructed buildings (including stables) of Old Cromwell Town are today alive with artists at work.
Glimpse past Central Otago gold mining at Carrick and Bendigo goldfields, and in nearby Bannockburn, an historic town, where sluicing has left its mark. Goldfields Mining Centre has an operational sluice gun, and opportunities to pan for gold.
Tour the orchards and vineyards. Abundant sun-ripened apricots, nectarines, cherries, apples and peaches have earned Cromwell its reputation as the 'fruit bowl of the south', while 60 percent of Central Otago's famed vineyards lie across this region.
Experience nature at the Bendigo Wetlands, and Chafer Beetle Reserve. Walk Cromwell's unique greenway of tracks. Trout fish (Lowburn Inlet), picnic or jet boat on Lake Dunstan. For some adrenalin and family fun head to Highlands Motorsport Park to explore their motorsport museum, go-karting, mini-golf, dinosaur park or take a lap in the famous Highlands Taxi.
The local Cromwell Promotions group organise and maintain a range of community events in the area for information on these events visit - www.cromwell.org.nz
Cromwell is situated on the shores of Lake Dunstan just 40 minutes from Queenstown and Wanaka airports. A giant fruit sculpture at the town’s boundary welcomes visitors. Visit Old Cromwell Town Historic Precinct, participate in one of the many multi sport events, or enjoy world class wine produced right here.
The Lowburn Valley has fantastic mountain views offering changing perspectives of the Pisa Range, the Dunstan Range and the Sugar Loaf, which is a protected large, elevated, flat plain – a legacy of the Ice Age. Other points you are likely to encounter are nurseries, orchards, lavender, quirky driftwood figures, old cottages and a 1870s hexagonal dairy.
Blessed with sparkling mountain and lake vistas, Pisa Moorings is part of an expanding district, which enjoys an idyllic vineyard and boat mooring ambience. Pisa Moorings, Pisa Village and Pisa Cove are relatively young, adjacent residential subdivisions, situated 10km north of Cromwell between Lake Dunstan and SH6.
Situated 15 minutes north of Cromwell on SH6, alongside the slopes of the Pisa Range, lies the unassuming settlement of Queensberry. It was once the place to stop for coaches and supply wagons midway between Cromwell and Wanaka. Queensberry remains the perfect place to stop between towns for a meal and to appreciate the surrounding beauty.
Tarras is located on SH8 approximately 30km north of Cromwell. Close by is Bendigo Station, which attracted worldwide attention with the discovery of Shrek, the very woolly hermit sheep. At the Tarras village there is a school, general store, cafe, vintage & homewares shop (housed in the former Shadracks blacksmiths store & residence), and a merino store, which specialises in high quality wool products from the districts famed merino flocks.