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Otago, New Zealand

Once the scene of a mighty gold rush, now appreciated for its powerful, moody landscape. Learn the history of Central Otago while you find its special places.


Located in the centre of the South Island, inland from Dunedin, this semi-arid region comprises a series of river basins and deep river gorges.

General Facts

Otago region, New Zealand

Otago is often called the golden country due to its goldmining associations, vivid autumn colours and apricot orchards. The Central Otago region is the only one to experience a continental climate, having the hottest summers and coldest winters in New Zealand.

Old trails that provided access for thousands of miners in the gold rush of the 1860's can still be seen winding over the hills, along with stone cottages, cleverly-engineered water channels, mines and machinery associated with the gold rush.

Alexandra, the main town on the Clutha River is the centre for stone fruit, particularly golden apricots. The towns of Alexandra, Clyde and Cromwell are ideal bases from which to explore the surrounding historic countryside.

Main Attractions and Activities

Exploring the heritage trails, quaint mining towns and historic sites is the most rewarding activity in this region. Most activities are associated with this, such as four-wheel drive safari excursions and gold panning.

Don't Miss

Yellow-eyed penguin, Otago, New Zealand
  • Gabriels Gully - location of the 1860's goldrush
  • Historic towns of Clyde, Lawrence, St Bathans and Naseby

Main Centres

  • Alexandra - main town of the region Roxburgh
  • Cromwell, Ranfurly - other towns