Local Activities and Events

Central Otago’s climate is the most similar to the Mediterranean of any New Zealand region. Its dry hot summers, cold still winters and vast empty spaces are a tonic for the body and soul alike.

From world-class mountain-biking trails, pristine tussock lands, iconic views of the Hawkdun Ranges, historic towns and quirky shopping, local characters
with rich personalities as well as wines and food of outstanding quality – this is unique territory and a holiday here will feed the memory bank for a lifetime. The Central Otago slogan of “A World of Difference” is apt but equally as accurate is one the locals like of “Big skies – Open hearts”.

  • Drink: Wild Earth Pinot Noir

    Drink: Wild Earth Pinot Noir from Felton Road, Bannockburn. 2006 Wild Earth Pinot Noir won Top Wine at the 2008

  • Bendigo Appellation Wines

    Bendigo appellation wines, from over the Dunstan Mountains behind Lombardy Cottage, are also making a fine name.

  • Quartz Reef

    Quartz Reef a recommended local methode champenoise. This is a joint venture with the Chauvet family who have been making

  • Black Ridge Winery

    Black Ridge Winery in Alexandra was the first of the “modern” vineyards and wineries of the southern region. Good history,

  • The Olde Curiosity Shoppe at Ranfurly

    This enormous collection of old kitchenware, table linen, glass and flatware is the source of lots of items in Lombardy

  • The Luge and Skating Rink

    The Luge and Skating Rink also at Naseby are great fun in a dinky, honky-tonk way. During the winter school

  • Picnic at Poolburn Dam

    This rugged landscape is familiar to The Lord of the Rings aficionadas as the Plains of Rohan and the site

  • Thomson Track

    This is the over-mountain track between the Manuherikia Valley and the Clutha Valley to the north-west. There are many gates

  • Bendigo Gold Fields

    Located at the other end of Thomson Track behind Bendigo Station. DOC has signposted the most interesting tracks and huts

  • Fly Fishing

    The brown trout of the Manuherikia River are legendary and the gorge, just below the Daniel O’Connell Bridge at Ophir,

  • Eco Tourism Central Otago

    The endangered and striking Otago skink grows to about 30cm in length, lives until 15-plus in the wild and doesn’t

  • Birdwatching

    The native falcon, karearea, is another endangered and fascinating local character. It is one of world’s most aggressive, fearless and

  • Otago Skink Habitat

    Otago skinks inhabit rock outcrops in well-vegetated gullies. They bask on the warm rocks during the day (they are diurnal)

  • Fossil Hunting

    Sixteen or so million years ago there was, apparently, a hotter climate and a near-tropical lake covering much of the

  • Ophir

    A charming gold town, named for the mythical gold-mine of the Biblical Queen of Sheba, lies in a peaceful, sheltered

  • St Bathans population 5

    This historic mining town 7km from Lombardy Cottage sprang into life in 1863 when gold was found in the shingle

  • Curling at Naseby

    This ancient Scottish pastime is available all year round at the modern indoor curling rink. It is a good winter

  • The Vulcan Hotel

    At the height of the gold-mining there were 13 hotels in St Bathans but just one survives. The Vulcan Hotel,

  • Wildflowers

    Spring and summer are the best seasons for enjoying the wide range of beautiful flowers which flourish in an otherwise

  • Farmers’ Market at Cromwell

    Every summer Sunday. The world-famous sticky buns at Provisions sell out early. Get there by 9am or pre-order by telephone.

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