Cromwell is the perfect southern destination to be enjoyed all year round. Through the summer months you can enjoy the many activities that Lake Dunstan provides and indulge in the plentiful stone fruits famously grown in the area. During winter, Cromwell is a convenient base for the many ski fields in the region and a pleasant alternative winter retreat from the more crowded and busier areas of Queenstown or Wanaka.
So come and discover what delights Cromwell –‘the Gateway to Central Otago’, has in store for you.
Lake Dunstan – Lake Dunstan (Te Waiwere) was formed as a result of the Clyde Dam development on the Clutha River and covers a 26 square kilometer area. The lake is now a popular attraction and provides visitors with plenty of fun activities to enjoy. Families and friends enjoy swimming and picnicking on the shores of the lake as well as fishing, boating and taking in the stunning scenery from some of the many walking and hiking trails.
Enjoy Summer Fruits – Cromwell is also known as the “Fruit bowl of the south”, and is well known for it’s delicious stone fruit grown here over the summer months. People are known to drive for miles to bite into the new season, mouth-watering treats such as cherries, apricots and plums! You can taste the fresh Central Otago delights for yourself from many roadside stalls or some of the local orchards that have ‘pick your own’. Fruit picking is a fun summer activity where you get to choose your own fruit straight from the trees to take home and enjoy eating fresh or perhaps make them into a delicious pie!
Gold Mining – Central Otago was a hive of activity during the gold rush era with thousands coming from Scotland, Wales, China and Europe to seek their fortune and risk everything they had. You can get a glimpse of what life must have been like for these pioneers by visiting Goldfields Mining centre. Here you can see what equipment was used and how it worked, explore an old miners village or try your hand at gold panning for yourself. There are other mining areas to discover such as Bendigo, Bannockburn Sluicings or Quartz Reef Point to name just a few. There is so much to learn and discover about New Zealand’s mining history in and around Cromwell for young and old.
Walking, Hiking or Mountain Biking – If you are wanting to get out and about and one with nature, Cromwell has an extensive range of walking, hiking and mountain biking trails on offer for all abilities and fitness levels. These trails take you along side the lake, past orchards and vineyards and historical sites and taking in some spectacular southern scenery. The information centre has a “Walk Cromwell” brochure available with all the details you will need.
Wineries – Central Otago is the perfect climate for producing quality wine and the region is well known for its excellent Pinot noir in particular. Cromwell is home to many award winning vineyards where you can ramble amongst the stunning settings and enjoy tasting their products and maybe buying a bottle or two to enjoy when you get home. Some of the wineries have lovely cafes and restaurants where you can totally sit back, relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
Golf – The Cromwell Golf Club is considered one of the best courses in the region. It has recently undergone a million dollar makeover providing plenty of enjoyment for social players through to the more competitive player.
The club welcomes visitors and casual green fee players. Of course if you wanted to make your time a full on golfing adventure there are a number of other quality golf courses nearby to experience and enjoy also.
Mini Golf – If the big game is not quite what you were looking for then try out Cromwell’s mini golf course. An 18-hole course that is fun for all ages and abilities.
Highlands Motorsport Park – The new Highlands circuit is the perfect escape for all those petrol-heads or racing enthusiasts among you, or for those just wanting to have a bit of fun zooming around the track. The international-standard circuit is 4.5km and provides tracks that can be used for fast laps, a race around in a Lamborghini or a V8 supercar. You can also have a blast on the Highlands Go-Karts challenging your friends and family to a race around the 650m track. You can also put your off-road driving skills to the test on the Jurassic safari buggy adventure, there is something here for everyone to enjoy.
Ski Fields – Cromwell is a convenient base for all you winter snow lovers too! Some of the best ski fields in the south including Coronet Peak, Cardrona or Treble Cone, are a comfortable driving distance away. Cromwell offers a quieter, and less busy holiday atmosphere than some of the other popular spots such as Queenstown or Wanaka. So pack up your winter woolies and check out this picturesque winter wonderland.
If Cromwell had not been on your vacationing radar before, it is time to check out all the wonders this Central Otago town has to offer and make your southern escape all that you ever imagined it should be.
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