Otago New Zealand

Otago is a large region that has a landscape changing from alpine mountains and glacial lakes in the west to drylands in Central Otago, with the northern boundary being parts of the Waitaki River and the southern boundary being the Catlins and Pacific Ocean in the south east of New Zealand’s South Island.

The Otago region includes many popular and well known places to visit such as Queenstown, Wanaka, Dunedin, Cromwell, Alexandra, Oamaru, Moeraki, and the Catlins to name just a few. Some of these places, such as Queenstown, are heaving with tourists whereas others, such as the Catlins, are a lot quieter and less visited.

For wildlife and nature, Otago is definitely penguin country with opportunities to see Blue Penguins and Yellow-eyed Penguins.

Yellow-eyed Penguin hoiho, Porpoise Bay, Catlins, New Zealand
Yellow-eyed Penguin hoiho, Porpoise Bay, Catlins, New Zealand

At Oamaru and Dunedin for example, there are colonies of both Blue Penguins and Yellow-eyed Penguins species, and on the Dunedin Otago Peninsula you can also see the magnificent albatross at the Royal Albatross Centre. In Otago Harbour, Dunedin, you will often be able to spy dolphins, and further south in the Catlins at Porpoise Bay there are pods of rare Hector's Dolphins that often swim among people in the shallows of the bay, coming to within a few feet of the beach!

Inland in Central Otago region there are an abundance of historic places of interest, particularly from the New Zealand gold rush era such as Arrowtown, Queenstown, Cromwell, Clyde, Alexandra, and Lawrence.

Central Otago, New Zealand
Central Otago Landscape View, New Zealand

Districts and Places in Otago Region

Districts

  • Central Otago
  • Clutha
  • Dunedin
  • Queenstown Lakes
  • Waitaki

Otago Towns and Places

  • Balclutha
  • Central Otago
    • Alexandra
    • Bannockburn
    • Clyde
    • Ettrick
    • Lawrence
    • Millers Flat
    • Naseby
    • Omakau
    • Oturehua
    • Ranfurly
    • Roxburgh
  • Catlins
  • Clutha
  • Cromwell
  • Kurow
  • Middlemarch
  • Milton
  • Moeraki
  • North Catlins
  • Oamaru
  • Omarama
  • Palmerston
  • Waikouaiti
  • Waitaki
  • Dunedin
    • Dunedin Airport
    • Blueskin Bay
    • Central Dunedin
    • Dunedin City
    • Fairfield
    • Green Island
    • Mosgiel
    • North Dunedin
    • Otago Peninsula
    • Port Chalmers
    • South Dunedin
    • Waldronville
  • Queenstown Lakes
    • Queenstown Airport
    • Arrowtown
    • Arthurs Point
    • Cardrona
    • Coronet Peak
    • Frankton
    • Gibbston Valley
    • Glenorchy
    • Kelvin Heights
    • Kingston
    • Lake Hayes
    • Lake Wakatipu
    • Queenstown Town
    • Skippers Canyon
    • The Remarkables
  • Wanaka
    • Matukituki Valley
    • Albert Town
    • Cardrona
    • Lake Hawea
    • Makarora
    • Mt Aspiring
    • Treble Cone
    • Wanaka Town

The southwest boundary of Otago meets with the Southland New Zealand region boundary.

Otago Attractions and Activities

View From Florence Hill Lookout, Catlins, New Zealand
Florence Hill Lookout, Catlins, New Zealand

Otago Central Rail Trail

Central Otago Wine Region

National Park

Along Waitaki River

  • Takiroa Maori Rock Art
  • Vanished World Fossil Trail Information Centre
  • Meridian Energy Benmore Power Station

Oamaru

Oamaru Historic Town Buildings
Oamaru Town Historic Buildings, Otago, New Zealand
  • Blue Penguin Colony
  • Yellow-eyed Penguin Colony
  • Oamaru Gardens
  • Forrester Art Gallery
  • Bushy Beach Scenic Reserve
  • Widest Street in New Zealand
  • Steampunk HQ, Oamaru

Naseby

  • Early Settlers Museum
  • Naseby Motoring Museum
  • Sun Dried Mud Brick Buildings Old Gold Mine Town

Saint Bathans

  • Old Gold Town

Clyde

  • Clyde Dam Viewing Area
  • Stone Buildings dated 1863

Lawrence

  • Gabriels Gully – Historic Gold Mining
  • Museum

Alexandra

  • Wineries
  • Orchards
  • Mountain Bikers Heaven

Cromwell

  • Old Cromwell Town
  • Goldfields Mining Centre
  • Wineries

Wanaka

  • Lake Wanaka
  • Puzzling World
  • Transport and Toy Museum
  • Fighter Pilots Museum

Cardrona

  • Cardrona Skifield
  • Horse Riding
  • Waiorau Snow Farm

Arrowtown

  • Old Gold Mining Town
  • Gold Panning
  • Lakes District Museum

Queenstown

  • Lake Wakatipu
  • Queenstown International Airport
  • Remarkables Skifield
  • Coronet Peak Skifield
  • TSS Earnslaw Cruise

Moeraki

  • Moeraki Boulders
  • Scenic Reserves

Palmerston

  • Goldfields Heritage Trail
  • Palmerston Butterfly and Bird Haven
  • Scenic Reserves

Dunedin

  • Royal Albatross Centre / Albatross Colony
  • Penguin Place
  • Penguin Colonies
  • Aramoana Conservation Area
  • Scenic Reserves
  • Botanic Gardens
  • Queens Gardens
  • Glenfalloch Woodland Gardens
  • Historical Sites
  • Otago Museum
  • Early Settlers Museum and Hall
  • Historic Railway Station
  • Otago Harbour
  • Port Chalmers
  • Dunedin Airport

Owaka

  • Owaka Museum
  • Nugget Point
  • Lighthouse
  • Penguns, Sea Lions, Elephan Seals, Fur Seals
  • Jacks Blowhole
  • Purakaunui Falls
  • Matai Falls
  • Horseshoe Falls

Catlins

  • Southern Scenic Route
  • Catlins Conservation Park
  • Kaka Point
  • Florence Hill Lookout
  • Cannibal Bay
  • Cathedral Caves
  • McLean Falls
  • Matai Falls
  • Horseshoe Falls

Lord of the Rings Filming Locations

  • Various Scenes of Middle Earth
  • Isengard
  • Lothlorien
  • Amon Hen
  • Rugged Country South of Rivendell
  • Flight to the Ford
  • Great East Road
  • Ford of Bruinen
  • Gladden Fields
  • Ithilien
  • Dimrill Dale
  • Pillars of the Kings
  • River Anduin
  • Plains of Rohan
  • Rohirrim Village

All Lord of the Rings Filming Locations

Otago Location