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Wanaka & Central Otago
Facts about Wanaka Central Otago accommodation transport and tours
Affectionately called ‘Central’ by those that know it well, Central Otago is New Zealand’s most inland region, located in the southern half of the South Island. It’s breathtakingly different with vast undulating landscapes, rugged snow-capped mountains, clear blue rivers, deep gorges and tussock-clad hills.
More recently, in the 1860s, Central Otago was the scene of a gold rush. Trails used by miners can still be seen winding over the hills. Stone cottages, a haunted hotel, cleverly engineered water channels, mines and machinery are other relics to discover.
Nowadays, Central Otago is the scene of a ‘wine rush'. Pinot Noir has become one of the region's newest treasures, and many of the wineries welcome visitors for tours and tastings
Retrace the steps of the hardy gold miners who carved their living from the harsh and often unforgiving environment. Relive their experiences in the museums and historic sites throughout the region.
Premium Pinot Noir
The mountain valley vineyards of the world's most southerly wine region have excelled in recent years. In particular, the vibrant, spicy flavour and velvety texture of Central Otago Pinot Noir has earned wide acclaim.
Tracks and trails
Around the hills of Central Otago, the hiking tracks are almost endless. Many were created by miners during the gold rush; others lead to alpine herb meadows, secret valleys and strange rock formations.
Lake Wanaka is New Zealand's fourth largest; its clean, blue waters are an inland sea for sailors and jetboaters to explore. Walking tracks and bridle trails wander the flats and foothills. In all seasons, outdoor adventures beckon.
Lakes wherever you look
Centuries of glacial action crafted Lakes Wanaka and Hawea. Discover their scenic perfection by mountain biking the high trails, paragliding over the hills, sightseeing by air or walking the myriad of tracks.
Get high on Mount Aspiring
The jewel of the region is its highest point, Mount Aspiring (3,027 metres), which nestles comfortably in one of the country's largest national parks. Delve inside the park's boundaries and discover a rare world.
Winter sports wonderland
The Lake Wanaka region is a complete winter sports destination. Cardrona and Treble Cone are classic downhill ski fields, heli skiing and snow boarding happens high in the Harris Mountains and there's Nordic skiing at the Snow Farm.
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