Towns & Places in the Maniototo | Central Otago

Danseys Pass

Danseys Pass links Central Otago to the Waitaki District. This classic alpine pass is unsealed, narrow in places and can be closed by snow during winter. Danseys Pass was once well used for gold mining traffic, now the only substantial building remaining is the Danseys Pass Coach Inn built in 1862.

Gimmerburn

Situated in the middle of the Maniototo Plains, Gimmerburn has been immortalised by acclaimed Central Otago artist Grahame Sydney in his painting, Family Trees - Gimmerburn Rd.The name Gimmerburn means a young ewe, which is an apt name for this predominantly farming community noted for producing excellent fine wool.

Hamiltons

Hamiltons has an intriguing and continuous history that is still evident today. Approximately 20 minutes drive from Ranfurly, Hamiltons is just above Patearoa and En Hakkore Religious Retreat, which was originally built as a tuberculosis sanitarium in the 1930s. The Hamiltons Cemetery is a lonely tribute to Hamiltons past and an example of history, preserved.

Kokonga

Set amid awesome mountainous scenery and situated on the Taieri River, Kokonga is a sight to behold. Approximately 25km south of Ranfurly and 30km north of Middlemarch, Kokonga offers great picnicking, swimming, fishing and a visually breathtaking stopover, whether travelling by road or on the Otago Central Rail Trail.

Kyeburn

Along the northeast end of the Maniototo Plains, 10 minutes east of Ranfurly is the Upper Kyeburn and Lower Kyeburn. The meandering Kyeburn River beneath rutted cliffs is a peaceful reminder of Kyeburn’s golden hey days. Kyeburn was once a stopping point for Cobb & Co coaches on their journey to Naseby and the Otago interior.

Naseby

One of the most charming of Otago's gold rush settlements, Nasby is often referred to as the ‘jewel of the Maniototo'. The town is located within Naseby forestry, 10 minutes northeast of Ranfurly. Explore a wealth of Victorian architecture, or have a go at the ancient game of curling, outdoor ice skating or downhill ice luge.

Oturehua

Oturehua translates to ‘the sun God’. Boasting views of Mt Ida and the Hawkdun Range, this farming community rests alongside the Otago Central Rail Trail. It is home to Hayes Engineering Works, and just to the south is the Idaburn Dam where a Bonspiel (ancient curling tournament) will be held when winter conditions are right.

Paerua

Amazing views, spectacular fishing, historical stories and intricate waterways are all part of the journey to Paerau. Located at the southern end of the expansive Maniototo valley, this is the starting point to explore the Serpentine Valley gold diggings and the headlands of the Taieri River, New Zealand’s only example of a scroll plain wetland.

Patearoa

Originally known as Sowburn, Patearoa is regularly used as a base by fishermen who return to fish the Taieri River and its extensive wetlands. It is situated in the centre of a predominantly farming community. The remains of a small Chinese settlement can be reached by the Sowburn Walkway, unveiling some of the area’s intriguing history.

Ranfurly

Famous for its Art Deco architecture, Ranfurly is a bustling service hub in the heart of the Maniototo alongside the Otago Central Rail Trail. In February the town comes alive and its population swells with visitors keen to partake in the Ranfurly Art Deco Festival. People dress in the fashion of the era and enjoy the entertainment.

Waipiata

Waipiata is situated on the Otago Central Rail Trail, 6km from Ranfurly and 30km from Hyde. This corner of the Maniototo Plains was once a thriving railway camp servicing the Otago Central Railway line. Originally named Komako, meaning ‘Bellbird’, the name was later changed to Waipiata, which means glistening water.

Wedderburn

Wedderburn is a convenient stop on the highest point of the Otago Central Rail Trail. The Wedderburn railway goods shed made famous by acclaimed artist Grahame Sydney in his painting ‘July in Maniototo’. The shed has been restored to its original site at the southern end of the township adjacent to the only remaining Vogel 5 railway station and ticket office in New Zealand.
Planning
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