Central Otago

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Top attractions in Central Otago

Our most recommended things to do in Central Otago

  • Otago Central Rail Trail E-Bike Self-Guided Cycling Trail

    1. Otago Central Rail Trail E-Bike Self-Guided Cycling Trail

    In Clyde, you are fitted with your E-bike and briefed for your tour. Your driver will then take you to Auripo, on the way go through historic Ophir crossing one of New Zealand’s most iconic bridges, the Daniel O Connell Bridge. Built in the 1880's, Lord of the Rings fans may recognise it and your driver will give you a full commentary on all things local on the way. On arrival at Auripo, you will cycle off down the trail to the Poolburn Gorge. First up is the 40m high Railway Viaduct, closely followed by 2 tunnels. You will then cross the longest bridge on the Trail, and find little village of Lauder with the original train station (returned to the original spot after years of fundraising) awaits. From Lauder continues onto Omakau, from here you can add on a short detour to Ophir, check out New Zealand’s oldest operating Post Office, cross the historic stone bridge and re-join the Trai...

  • Otago Winery Tour with Gourmet Wine & Food-Paired Lunch

    2. Otago Winery Tour with Gourmet Wine & Food-Paired Lunch

    Make the most of your stay in Queenstown with this half-day wine and food experience for an unforgettable taste of Central Otago’s wine region. Enjoy a winery lunch consisting of several tasting dishes each perfectly matched by the Chief Winemaker and Head Chef, using estate wines and fresh local produce. Indulge in wine tasting and presentations at 3 wineries, visiting one larger well-known winery and two boutique style wineries. The tour also includes a wine cave tour and tasting, providing you with an insight into the local great wines and the Central Otago wine industry.

    We were taken by our lovely and knowledgeable guide, Eva, to the three wineries - Kinross, Mt Rosa and Gibbston Valley. Sam at Kinross was very informative and friendly, our wine tasting and pairings with lovely small lunch was delicious. The cave at Gibbston Valley was awesome and the guided tour was wonderful and informative. Recommend all three wineries and the tour highly! Was a highlight of our trip to Queenstown.

  • Gourmet Food and Wine Tour with Lunch and Wine Tastings

    3. Gourmet Food and Wine Tour with Lunch and Wine Tastings

    Visit 4 premium vineyards over 2 wine subregions (Gibbston and the Cromwell/Bannockburn basin). Have a wine barrel cooked lunch consisting of 5 tasting dishes matched with wines for a unique tasting in Australasia's largest underground wine cave. Taste local cheeses at a local vineyard. Visit Old Cromwell town and the must-see Arrowtown. Have a taste of locally handcrafted chocolates at your leisure. Then, go on a stunning drive through the Kawarau Gorge whilst learning about the early pioneering history of this rugged region. View the historic Kawarau Bridge and original AJ Hackett Bungy.

    Wonderful day out, great food and wine. For a beer drinker , it was great to try all the different wines and learn something new. Gary our guide is a lovely person and so knowledgeable himself. he made the day extra special with his friendly manner.

  • Otago: Rail Trail Self-Guided Biking Experience

    4. Otago: Rail Trail Self-Guided Biking Experience

    Feel the breeze through your hair and explore Otago by bike with this unique self-guided tour. After arriving at your meeting point and being fitted with a bike, you will set off to discover this stunning part of New Zealand. To kick off your tour, a driver will take you on a 45-minute journey to your drop off point in Auripo. On the way, you will pass through the historic town of Ophir, crossing one of New Zealand's most iconinc bridges built in the 1880s. As you travel, learn about all things local from your experienced driver/ guide.  After arriving in Auripo, you will head off down the cycle trail into the Poolburn Gorge. Enjoy a spectacular ride over a 40 meter high railway viaduct, through tunnels and across the longest bridge on the trail. Stop off for a delicious coffee at the Stationside Café before reaching the quaint village of Lauder with its original train station.  Once ...

  • Shotover River: Extreme Jet Boat Experience

    5. Shotover River: Extreme Jet Boat Experience

    Take on the ultimate jet boat experience on the Shotover River for breathtaking ride through dramatic and narrow canyons. Located less than 10-minutes drive from Queenstown. Self-drive or climb aboard the courtesy shuttle bus in downtown Queenstown. A short ride will have you at the shores of the Shotover River. Meet your experienced guide and gear up for your high-speed jet boat ride.

    Hold on tight as the driver expertly navigates the jet boat over white-water rapids and squeezes through the narrow walls of the Shotover Canyon. Speed past rocky outcrops, skim around boulders, and zip through the dramatic and narrow canyons as its walls tower above you. After 25 thrilling minutes, return to the jet base and relax on the shuttle transfer back to Queenstown.

    Amazing experience. From start to finish. The views you get from the boat are spectacular, and you are actually on the boat for quite a long time. Highly recommend!

  • From Queenstown: Mount Cook and Hooker Valley Day Trip

    6. From Queenstown: Mount Cook and Hooker Valley Day Trip

    Visit breathtaking locations in Queenstown as you make your way to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Travel with a reliable tour guide who will share stories and rich background knowledge on Queenstown and the Mount Cook area. Start your tour in the stunning city of Queenstown. Drive through the Kawarau Suspension Bridge and marvel at the scenery the Kawarau Gorge has to offer. Stop at the Roaring Meg Lookout to take photos of your stunning view. Then, enter the region of Cromwell, famous for fruits and wine and where you can see huge fields of vines. Next, traverse the majestic Lindis Pass which lies between two valleys against a backdrop of a bright blue sky. This stretch of highway is one of the only three Alpine roads through the otherwise impassable Southern Alps. After taking photos at the top of the pass, drive through the Mackenzie District and visit the township of Omarama. Tu...

  • From Queenstown: Mount Cook Skydive & Tour

    7. From Queenstown: Mount Cook Skydive & Tour

    Meet your guide in Queenstown before setting off for a day of thrills and adventure. Your guide will set the scene and prepare you for your skydive as you head out of the city and towards Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. Admire the views as you pass through Kawarau Gorge, Lindis Pass and the Southern Alps. There will be a few short stops along the way to take in the scenery, and a longer stop in the quaint town of Omarama to get some lunch. After lunch, you will head to your skydive in Pukaki. Boasting some of the country’s most epic scenery and views of the snow-capped mountains, glaciers, lakes of Mount Cook National Park, this is one of the best bits of sky in the country. You will take a 10-minute scenic flight up to 9,000, 13,000, or 15,000 feet where you will get ready to dive. Enjoy a thrilling 30-second freefall before your professional instructor pulls the parachute for 3-5 m...

  • Cromwell: High Country Picnic with Helicopter Transfers

    8. Cromwell: High Country Picnic with Helicopter Transfers

    Take off and soar above the orchards before landing at a remote vantage point where you can indulge in a picnic and sip on locally produced bubbly wines. Fly within cork-popping distance of the vineyards that produce the bubbly Quartz Reef Methode Traditionelle you'll soon be drinking. Once you land at your mountain top vantage point, sit back and cast your eyes over the panoramic vistas and tussocks where local deer graze. There is something spectacularly unique about being able to enjoy a picnic overlooking the landscape from which all its contents originated. Take a few photos here as a keepsake of your special outing. Next, enjoy special picnic platters which are made up of Akaroa Salmon and Venison from the Central Otago Hills (from The Fridge Butchery & Delicatessen) alongside Whitestone Cheeses crafted in Oamaru. The staples of the picnics are accompanied by decadent chutneys an...

  • Glenorchy & Paradise Scenic Half-Day Tour from Queenstown

    9. Glenorchy & Paradise Scenic Half-Day Tour from Queenstown

    Just 45 minutes from Queenstown, Glenorchy is nestled on the northern shores of Lake Wakatipu and is home to what many say is New Zealand's best scenery and a slice of Middle-Earth magic. View stunning scenery and alpine vistas as you are guided in style aboard a luxury Mercedes van. Enjoy an overload of sightseeing and views packed into a fun half-day adventure to Glenorchy and beyond. Upon arrival in Glenorchy, you will be awe struck as you gaze at the mountain ranges and native beech forest which set the backdrop for this rustic town. You will have some time to check out the town's local sites and hidden gems, while also learning about Glenorchy and its fascinating Maori history. After Glenorchy, visit Paradise, view Diamond Lake, and explore the surrounding areas. There’s endless natural beauty and scenic stops along the way, ensuring you’ll go home with some postcard-worthy photos...

    It’s well worth the 9 am start to experience the beautiful drive to Glenorchy & Paradise. Andy was a very informative guide and I appreciated his personal knowledge of the area. We enjoyed a simple but tasty morning tea before driving home after plenty of photo opportunities. If you are a LOTR movie buff, you’ll enjoy the experience even more.

  • Boutique Winery Half-Day Tour & Vineyard Platter-Style Lunch

    10. Boutique Winery Half-Day Tour & Vineyard Platter-Style Lunch

    Discover Central Otago and some of its world-class wines on this small group tour. Accompanied by an experienced and knowledgeable wine guide, you will visit a selection of the region’s premium vineyards, taste a range of fine wines, and enjoy a gourmet platter-style lunch. A maximum group size of ten adults ensures the pace of the tour is relaxed and informative with time to learn about the early history, master the art of wine appreciation, and visit the historic Old Cromwell Town. Central Otago is a remarkable region in New Zealand. It is steeped in early pioneering history, has rugged spectacular scenery, produces some of New Zealand’s tastiest stone fruits, and has now become renowned for its outstanding wines. Pinot Noir is the real star of the region but there are many outstanding examples of Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Departing at 11:00, you will ven...

    Very enjoyable half day touring two winery regions and a total of 3 wineries plus one brewery. Very informative and knowledgeable staff at each venue who were obviously passionate about their product. Lunch was delicious too. Gary our tour guide for the day did an excellent job relaying informative stories about the history and geology of the region all delivered with a quick wit. A brilliant day out

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What people are saying about Central Otago

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 132 reviews

It’s well worth the 9 am start to experience the beautiful drive to Glenorchy & Paradise. Andy was a very informative guide and I appreciated his personal knowledge of the area. We enjoyed a simple but tasty morning tea before driving home after plenty of photo opportunities. If you are a LOTR movie buff, you’ll enjoy the experience even more.

Wonderful day out, great food and wine. For a beer drinker , it was great to try all the different wines and learn something new. Gary our guide is a lovely person and so knowledgeable himself. he made the day extra special with his friendly manner.

Great half day tour and Aaliyah was an awesome tour guide, even bringing the bug spray! Free time in Glenorchy and awesome dressing up time in Paradise made it a memorable trip. Thanks!

Brilliant driver leader. Arils provided excellent commentary. Great information was very helpful and pleasant

Fantastic tour and the tour guide was amazing and so friendly and fun, highly recommend this tour