Otago Off The Beaten Path

  • Moeraki Boulders
    Moeraki Boulders
    by Robmj
  • An easy walk to the Pyramides, Otago Peninsula.
    An easy walk to the Pyramides, Otago...
    by Kakapo2
  • Always a refreshing walk home in Dunedin
    Always a refreshing walk home in Dunedin
    by cannedbeets

Otago Off The Beaten Path

  • Arrowtown

    Queenstown Off The Beaten Path

    Arrowtown is located approximately 21km from Queenstown, towards Cromwell and offers a place of relaxation and walking trails. Arrowtown started in the gold rush, with Chinese immigrants. The Chinese village remains are a popular free attraction (not many things are free in Queenstown). The local school children do a study on these each year....

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  • Port Chalmers

    Dunedin Off The Beaten Path

    Port Chalmers is located on the north shore of Otago harbour and is the deep water port for Otago. A short, 15 minute drive from Dunedin, and we were here! We found a nice lookout here, where my photo was taken from, it had great views of the port area, and of the beautiful Iona church. Port Chalmer's is also famous because the last Antarctic...

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  • Milford Sound

    Queenstown Off The Beaten Path

    MIlford Sound is a must do while in NZ. It is very isolated, so I recommend doing the fly - cruise-fly option from downtown Queenstown. There are 3-4 companies who offer this. It is rather expensive, however does mean that there is not 10 hours wasted sitting on a bus. Also provides the opportunity for amazing photography from the plane. MIlford...

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  • The Catlins

    Dunedin Off The Beaten Path

    Waipapa Point is one of several places along the Catlins Coast where it is possible to see Hooker’s Sea Lions. These endangered animals are found mostly at the sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands, but a few live on the Otago Peninsula, the Catlins Coast, and on and around Stewart Island. Much larger and more aggressive than the shy New Zealand Fur Seal,...

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  • Wanaka

    Queenstown Off The Beaten Path

    Wanaka is a small town situated at the southern end of Lake Wanaka and was originally settled during the gold rush excitement of the 19th century. It is the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Parkand is a resort town for both summer and winter activities. It is about an hour's drive from Queenstown.

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  • Glenfalloch Woodland Gardens.

    Dunedin Off The Beaten Path

    Glenfalloch means 'peaceful valley' and this place is indeed just that. The gardens are free (donations welcome) and there is plenty of parking. They are only a short drive from Dunedin along the scenic coastal Portobello Road, that hugs the Otago Harbour. There is a cafe on site that serves nice coffee and muffins. The gardens are privately...

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  • Kawarau River

    Queenstown Off The Beaten Path

    Even if you don't dare to do a bungy jump, you can walk around the Bungy Centre with exhibitions on the history and equipment used for bungy jump. The surrounding is very beautiful. You can take pictures from the viewing platform or head to the bridge to take some pictures. Did I have a go at the bungy? There is a cafe where you can have a sip...

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  • Mount Cargill.

    Dunedin Off The Beaten Path

    If you have a car, then a drive to the summit of Mount Cargill, northeast of the city, is a must. The views from here are expansive and you can see the entire Otago Peninsula and harbour. To the north and northwest the views stretch up the coast and into the rugged Otago hinterland. The road is gravel and not well graded for about a quarter of the...

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  • Larnach Castle

    Dunedin Off The Beaten Path

    On the Otago Peninsula, Larnach Castle is open daily for both guided and independent tours and has a huge collection of New Zealand antiques, situated within 35 acres of gardens and grounds. The Barker Family, present-day owners, have lovingly restored this historic castle. Built in 1871 by a local Member of Parliament, Sir William Larnach, the...

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  • Taiaroa Head

    Dunedin Off The Beaten Path

    The Albatross has long been a creature of reverence and superstition. Well before Coleridge penned his 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner', seafarers believed that when their captains died their souls took the form of an albatross to wander the oceans forever. The Royal Albatross, one of the largest seabirds, is a gliding phenomenon. It regularly...

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  • Duntroon – a Place from Yesteryear

    Duntroon, located in the Waitaki Valley between Oamaru and Omarama feels a bit like an open-air museum. Wandering around between an historic blacksmith’s shop, three churches and an old gaol you are surprised to meet real people living there ;-) The Waitaki Valley is popular with boaties and for fishing, with the hydro power lakes Benmore, Aviemore...

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  • Takiroa Maori Rock Paintings

    The Takiroa Rock Art Site is a sacred place for the Ngai Tahu, the South Island’s major Maori tribe. It is located in the Waitaki Valley, along SH 83, between Oamaru and Omarama, about 3 or 4 km west of the township of Duntroon. (Parking bays on both sides of the road.)The limestone outcrops alone are already fantastic. The main rock looks like a...

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  • Anatini Whale Fossil Site

    This place is part of the Vanished World Trail from Duntroon in the Waitaki Valley.It features baleen whale bones, reminding us that this part of the world once lay under the sea some 25 million years ago. To be perfectly honest: We found the whale bone display slightly disappointing. We had expected… well, the fossil of a whole whale… Not just...

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  • Elephant Rocks from the Sub-Sea Age

    The Elephant Rocks near the little township of Duntroon in the Waitaki Valley (between Oamaru and Omarama) are part of quite a number of interesting remains of the era when the area was still covered by the sea. You find lots of fossils... no, let's say, a lot of fossils of whales, dolphins and other sea creatures were found in this region which...

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  • A Shark-toothed Dolphin at Duntroon

    Here is an article I wrote on the Elephant Rocks area...... On the Road – Time Travel (A Twenty-five Million Year Old Odyssey)“What is that?” I asked. “Would you believe it is a shark-toothed dolphin?” he answered. We were in the middle of South Island farmland 400 metres above sea level miles from the ocean.Millions of years ago the cataclysmic...

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  • Ghost Towns of the Goldrush

    Gold was first found in Otago in 1861, and this started the gold rush which swept over the country at a time of deep economic depression. 50 years later the big rush was over, and 100 years later there was nearly no gold output in NZ for about 40 years. Goldmines that have been left more than 100 years ago are kept as historic places, or ghosttowns...

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  • A Lonely Day around the Sunken World of...

    In mid-summer you might meet people swimming, fishing, or picknicking but at other times of the year it can happen that you do not see anybody on this round-trip from Dunedin which takes several hours because most of it is on a sometimes slippery gravel road.From Dunedin drive to Mosgiel and follow SH 87, turn left after approx. 25kms towards Lee...

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  • Cromwell

    an other Fruitbowl for New Zealand ..we get our cheeries on Christmas from here :-)) its a very pleasant little town, very friendly people and the food....excellent and plentyfull..they know how to feed a hungry mouth!! the clock goes a little slower. life should not be rushed anyway...which suits me just fine.Backpackers have a good chance to...

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  • Lake Dunstan

    Cromwells Beach, recreational center piece of the area, waterskiing, boating and what have you in Summer.have a walk around the lake, which had been floaded when the Clyde Dam was build. the old buildings where pulled down and build up again on a safe landsite. like the old Cromwell Museum, with its artefacts of the beginning of settlement in...

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  • Dansey's Pass

    an old cattledrive, but wide enough for cars, rugged and wild. from Ranfurly Town in the Maniototo, ask at the Gas Station, they might have a look at you and your vehicle..car that is. a 4X4 would be ideal with no problems whatsoever, a normal car is more fun. there is a fine Hotel and Restaurant halfway and the road quite good, the on drive is...

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  • Nasby

    Central Otago, old Gold Diggers Town, beautiful restored nowa days and has great pubs and good accommodation in the campground as well hotels and backpackers.not far from Ranfurly and easy to reach over good streets. take a map from the AA and drive there, something for people who love a pretty and quiet place

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  • on the way

    through the magnificent and diverse landscape around Queenstown and Wanaka,cold rivers but great for fishing and camping for a nite. walkways are signed out, 20-30min, just right to stretch the legs, some are 2-3hours hikes, you choose what you wanna do. if you are a member of your national Automobilclub, it entitles you here in NZ for free road...

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  • often there is no other soul around

    from Queenstown to Wanaka, passing Kawarau Gorge, if you brave go Bungy jumping, if not, enjoy the drive over the Cadrona Pass. be prepared,dependes on the season, for being alone often there is no soul around. we did the trip twice and was amazed but happy having all this beauty for ourselfs.

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  • In the Middle of Nowhere: Danseys Pass...

    If you have already felt lonesome on the Otago Rail Trail - on this road trip in Central Otago you will even meet less people. You should only start on a nice day, otherwise the narrow and winding gravel road can become rather dangerous. In winter it is closed by snow occasionally. But even in perfect conditions you have to be cautious - just for...

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  • Cycling on the Otago Rail Trail

    Cycling on NZ roads can be dangerous. The Otago Rail Trail is totally different: relaxed, enjoyable, just you and nature. Only bicycles, horses and trampers are allowed on this 150 km long track which follows the former Otago Central Branch railway line from Clyde to Middlemarch. Although it is becoming more and more popular we did not meet more...

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  • Go to the Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow...

    During Easter week the Wanaka Airport has the annual Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow. The airport is located 10km from Lake Wanaka township on State Highway 6 at Luggate. Watching the show and looking at the old planes is really fun and educational.But If you are not on holiday during an airshow , it is still worth taking a short visit to the cool...

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  • Crown Terrace 1

    There are 2 routes getting from Queenstown to Wanaka. The main route is State Highway 6 which follows the banks of the Clutha River. The alternative route along State Highway 89 via the Crown Range and Cardrona Valley is more spectacular (closed during the winter months, it is only for people with strong nerves and even stronger vehicles).Off...

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  • Crown Terrace 2

    The famous Crown Range Road @ Crown Terrace is a series of horse shoe like road winding down the hill. This is where you'll find this little scenic stop. From here, you could also get a glimps of Lake Hayes (on the far left).Crown Terrace is about 15 minutes drive from quaint, historic Arrowtown, 25 minutes from Queenstown, 40 minutes to Wanaka.

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  • Rose garden of Novotel Gardens Hotel

    The Novotel Gardens Hotel on the shore of Lake Wakatipu has a very beautiful rose garden near to the entrance to the botanical gardens which is worth a look if you like flowers.

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  • Gibbston Valley

    Another good place to visit outside Queenstown is the Gibbston Valley which is famous for its wineyards and cheesery. You can buy very good wine and cheese here.

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  • Lake Hayes

    Along the journey from Queenstown to nearby Arrowtown, you will pass by the beautiful small Lake Hayes, which is worth a stop especially during autumn with its multi-coloured foliage and mountain backdrop.

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  • Botanical Gardens

    There is a beautiful botanical gardens located just next to Lake Wakatipu which is a very good place to explore nature, exercise and relax. There are also sports facilities such as tennis courts and skating ring within the gardens, which is set among the stunning backdrop of the Remarkables mountain range.

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  • Horse riding

    An enjoyment in Queenstown will be horse-riding to see the beautiful countryside. It is a very popular activity, especially during the summer and autumn seasons.

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  • LOTR

    roaming around in the High Country where Lord of the Rings has been filmedOtago and its beautiful Landscape, nature at its best

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  • Visit Arrowtown

    Arrowtown is a very nice and relaxing town within short distance of Queenstown and should be visited if you are in this area. Please go to my VT Arrowtown page for more information.

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Otago Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Otago off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Otago sightseeing.
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