Fairlie is known as the ‘Gateway to the Mackenzie Country’. It’s an attractive rural service town that doubles as a ski town in winter.

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The pretty farming town of Fairlie marks the beginning of the Mackenzie Country. Just west of here, Burke Pass takes you into the high altitude, tussock-covered expanses that characterise the region. The Mackenzie Country is named after Jock Mackenzie, the legendary Scottish sheep rustler who once roamed the hills. There are several ski fields close to Fairlie, and recently created Lake Opuha is popular for boating and fishing. The Raincliff Historic Reserve is the place to see Maori rock art. Resident artists and potters provide craft buying opportunities. Consider a farmstay, to get a feel for life on a high country sheep station.

Functional facts: Approx. population 720, information centre, fuel.