If you're seeking the thrill of a fine glass of wine or a round of golf then Central Otago could be just your place. The hottest, coldest and driest part of New Zealand is also home to some of its most adorable towns and finer vineyards.

The capital of Central Otago is Alexandra and its boutique hotels are a great base for exploring. The highlights of Central Otago (besides its gourmet delights) include the very well-preserved gold-rush towns of Ophir and St Bathans, the art-deco charms of Ranfurly and the picturesque orchards of the fruit-bowl area surrounding Cromwell.

Eleven golf courses dot the countryside and curling (the ancient Scottish sport) is popular in Naseby where you can play in year-round facilities. Otherwise the majority of action takes place along the Central Otago Rail Trail with walkers, cyclists and horse riders all enjoying the gentle gradient of the former railway line.

Practical Info

Queenstown is 40 minutes drive from Cromwell and an hour’s drive from Alexandra. Dunedin is 2.5 hours drive from Alexandra. A car is the best way to explore the area, moving at your own relaxed pace.

Tours & Tickets

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3-Day Queenstown to Christchurch including West Coast Glaciers and the TranzAlpine Train

3 star rating: Worth doing 3 Reviews

Visit highlights of New Zealand’s South Island on a 3-day tour from Queenstown to Christchurch. Be amazed by the Fox Glacier on a 3-hour guided hike that gives ...  Read more

Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Duration: 3 days (approx.)

From USD $627.16

Central Otago Wine Tours from Queenstown

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 34 Reviews

Experience the beauty of Central Otago, its fine wines, rich gold history and welcoming people. This Central Otago wine tour from Queenstown will take you into ...  Read more

Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Duration: 5 or 7 hrs

From USD $127.33

Original Wine Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 4 Reviews

Making wine personal - join Queenstown’s original wine tour. Have a fun and relaxed afternoon wine touring accompanied by our knowledgeable wine guides. ...  Read more

Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $106.68

Otago Central Rail Trail Bike Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Reviews

Cycle the Otago Central Rail Trail on this day trip from Queenstown or Wanaka. Soak up the stunning landscapes as you cycle through lush farmland and ...  Read more

Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $274.38

Cromwell Basin Flight with Alpine Snow Landing

Only 45 minutes from Queenstown, the Cromwell Basin showcases the best of Central Otago's wine growing region. See Cromwell, Lake Dunstan, Highlands Motorsport ...  Read more

Location: Cromwell, New Zealand
Duration: 45 minutes (approx.)

From USD $205.79

Mount Cook to Wanaka Tour

In the afternoon, depart the Mount Cook village and travel down the western side of Lake Pukaki at the foot of New Zealand's tallest mountain, Mount Cook. On ...  Read more

Location: Mount Cook, New Zealand
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $140.40

Queenstown to Mount Cook Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 3 Reviews

Depart Queenstown and its surrounding lush green farmland and relax as you take in the spectacular scenery that changes from the winding Kawarau River Gorge to ...  Read more

Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $97.04

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