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Otago Region

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Top Places

Dunedin, Queenstown, Shotover river, Skippers Canyon, Lake Wakatipu, Lake Wanaka, Lake Hawea, Otago Peninsula, Taieri Gorge.


Otago is a mountainous region with varying micro-climates resulting in desert like terrain in the centre with lush green land as you head toward the coast. It is the only area of New Zealand that experiences a continental climate, so the temperature between summer and winter is extreme compared with the rest of New Zealand which is maritime.

Queenstown is the premier tourist destination in this region and one of the most popular in the country, This town is the gateway to the best ski fields in the country, as well the main starting point for a trip to spectacular Fiordland National Park. The town has its own international airport with regular flights from Australia and within New Zealand. It is situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and is framed by mountains on all sides, including the famous Remarkables range.

The surrounding area around Queenstown is higest concentration of adrenalin activities in the world. This is partly to do with sports like bungee jumping, jet boating, and zorbing, being invented in this country. Other popular activities include white water rafting, helicopter rides, and parapenting.

Further north from Queenstown lies the historic town of Arrowtown and further north again is Wanaka which is often compared to Queenstown. Wanaka is less touristy than Queenstown and arguably as beautiful.

Dunedin is the second largest city in the South Island and is located near the Otago Peninsula on the east coast. The city has a large student population, so it is youthful and lively. Dunedin was founded by the Scottish and was planned entirely in Britain before being built. The planners didn't take Dunedin's steep terrain into consideration and as a consequence, some streets are broken up by the step terrain. This also explains why Dunedin's streets are the world'ssteepest. The honour of the world's steepest street according to the Guinness Book of World Records is Baldwin St in Dunedin.

Dunedin is also located near some scenic landscape such as the Otago Peninsula, which is famous for its colonies of Albatross, fur seals, penguins and other sea birds. Another trip worth doing is the Tairei Gorge Railway which shows off the rugged beauty of the Otago region.

Photo Galleries

Queenstown New Zealand photos
Lake Wanaka photos
Lake Wakatipu photos
Lake Hawea photos
Lindis Pass New Zealand photos



Central Otago

Travel Links

Dunedin Travel Guide

Queenstown Travel Guide


Oceania photos, maps, & travel by country

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Author & photographer: David Johnson (Virtual Oceania)

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