Nestled near the bottom of the South Island, Otago has a traditional farming heritage plus many little-known natural and historic treasures. Queenstown and Dunedin are its main centres.
Dunedin is where you will find seals, penguins, Larnach Castle (a miniature version of the English equivalent) and many historic sites of Scottish heritage. Home to the University of Otago, you will find a vibrant culture, where one in 10 of the population is a student.
Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of New Zealand. Here you can get your adrenaline rush with parapenting, hot air ballooning, rafting, jet boating, gliding, canyoning, abseiling, hang gliding, heliskiing, para sailing, river surfing, and the justly famous bungy jumping.
In this region there is plenty of opportunity for winter sports in the cooler seasons, whether it’s skiing, ice skating or the peculiar sport of curling, there are myriad sports opportunities to try!
For those preferring the less crazy, you can also enjoy the stunning vineyards, restaurants, shops and the nightlife here as well as luxury boutique spas and lodges. Click here to see all spas located in Otago. Also a great place to play golf with the stunning natural scenery. Take a cruise on the lake with a vintage steamship.
Visit Moeraki, a quaint fishing village home to one of the country’s best restaurants – Fleur’s Place, a cliff-top lighthouse where you can walk among seals and penguins, and the ancient Moeraki boulders.
The Catlins is one of the country’s least known areas, the southern coastal area of the Catlins is known for its many natural landforms. These include the Cathedral Caves, Nugget Point (with its lighthouse and wildlife), the Purakaunui Falls forest waterfalls, and the rock pinnacles of Frances Pillars.
Central Otago is home to the famous Otago Central Rail Trail – one of the area’s newest attractions, tourists can now bicycle along this former railway line, drinking in its spectacular scenery along with the local pinor noir.