Central Otago

Central Otago is a district in the administrative region of Otago in New Zealand, located on the South Island.


As the only region of New Zealand Central Otago has almost continental climate, both the hottest summer and the coldest winter temperatures occur there. This is due to the special situation of Central Otago: The district is protected by the Southern Alps before the Roaring Forties in the West, but not limited, despite its rather eastern location on the Pacific.

In Alexandra, the Clyde Dam, the third largest dam is located in New Zealand. The pent-up in the river valley Cromwell Gorge amount of water the Clutha today is the 26 -acre Lake Dunstan, extending from the town of Clyde to the congregation Cromwell. At the level of the Kawarau Cromwell in the Clutha and Lake Dunstan opens. The Kawarau also brings water from the Lake Wakatipu. Another dam on the Clutha is located in Roxburgh, which forms the Lake Roxburgh.


Capital and largest city of the district is Alexandra. Other notable places are Cromwell, Roxburgh, Ranfurly and Clyde.


The region was in the 1860s, the center of New Zealand's Otago Gold Rush, whose importance is also reflected among other things, on the development of places Naseby and Ophir. Also today is still mined gold in Central, currently in open cast mining at Macraes Flat. But geologists are still looking for the mother lode, which must be located somewhere on a line between Queenstown and the Pacific region. Previously, it was not found.

In addition, a significant part of the railway line Otago Central Railway ran through the district. Part of the route is still traversed by a railway museum, this departs from Dunedin to Middlemarch. The rest of the remaining embankment was converted into a cycle path and makes it possible to explore Central Otago also by bike.

Today Central Otago is known primarily as a growing area for apples, wine and stone fruit. For the first time wine was produced in 1864 in the region. Meanwhile, Central Otago, however, has become the fastest growing wine region of the island. It is also the highest altitude wine region of New Zealand and is considered the southernmost wine region of the world.

The fruit -growing region in Central Otago is located in the Teviot Valley. Due to the Clutha there is an excellent microclimate that favors above all the cultivation of peaches, nectarines and apricots. But apples and cherries thrive excellently here. A few orchards are located in Cromwell, near the Kawarau.

The wine -growing region " Central Otago " is located in Gibbston Valley ( Kawarau - actually belongs to a Southern Lake District), and in the valley between the Pisa Range and the Clutha and a few plantations on the opposite slopes. Here, too, favors the vicinity of the water cultivation. In other Central it is too dry to operate fruit or wine. Here are geographically huge farms that are managed mainly with sheep. Due to the similarity of the climate of the Sierra Nevada in Spain Merino sheep here are predominantly held that provide no great demands on the food.