Central Otago is a powerful landscape, sunny, dry and brown with weathered ancient mountains, alpine herb fields and fast flowing rivers.
In the 1860s this was a place of gold; you can still pan for it amongst the miners' old trails, stone cottages and relics of mine machinery.
But the gold today in Central Otago is wine. Pinot Noir, that most fickle of grape varieties, excels in these southernmost vineyards and most of the wineries offer tours and tastings.
Many Central Otago visitors hire a motorhome or mountain bike to explore the region at their own pace. This way you can see some of the region’s more remote sites, taste the seasonal flavours and absorb the incredible scenery that you will often have all to yourself.
The area is known for its cycle trails. The 150 km Central Otago Rail Trail follows the route of the old railway; cycle from station to station staying in places little touched by modern hustle and bustle. The Roxburgh Gorge Trail and Clutha Gold Trail also offer unique experiences deep in the heart of Central Otago.
If you're not up for cycling, you might like to go wildflower walking in Alexandra, wander through the Cromwell Historic Precinct, take a cruise on Lakes Dunstan and Roxburgh or go curling in Naseby.
Accommodation in Central Otago ranges from the luxury lodges set in inspiring locations through to character B&Bs, historic backpackers, country pubs, motels and camping grounds. Wherever you stay you will be welcomed by the locals.