On a fantastic trip in the South Island, driving from Queenstown to Mount Cook with 21 German passengers.
We’re just passing through Cromwell in Central Otago – also known as the ‘fruit bowl of New Zealand.’ A popular stop with passengers is Mrs Jones Orchard. Here at a roadside shop, you can buy seasonal fruits such as peaches, apples, nectarines, apricots and kiwifruit. You can also buy a staggering array of nuts and biscuits plus delicious fruit waffle coned ice-cream – a real hit!
Cromwell is also the centre of New Zealand’s fastest-growing wine region, producing internationally acclaimed Pinot Noir. A quick stop at a vineyard or two is recommended.
Passing through an undulating landscape of tussock and briar, purple thyme and tors of schist, we’re treading the path followed by Maori hunters and traders, early settler sheep farmers, gold seekers and dam builders. These have now given way to merino and deer farmers, wine growers, artists and artisans – a region with a rich past and a vibrant present.
Fast facts about Cromwell:
- Cromwell has a population of over 4,000
- Set in the heart of Central Otago – Cromwell is the farthest town from the sea in New Zealand
- The area is home to the Bannockburn, Carrick, Kawarau, Dunstan and Bendigo gold fields and is steeped in mining history
- It is 220 metres above sea level with an average of 2200 hours of sunshine per year
- Temperatures range from -10°C (winter) to 37°C (summer)
- The average annual rainfall is 400mm
Read more On the Road with Oceania on www.oclnz.com
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