Are you in search of a vacation filled with incredible landscapes and natural wonders? If yes, Central Otago is the perfect destination. This tourist hot spot is great for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, as well as active relaxers. Rent a campervan and uncover the beauty of the south. But, before you hit the road, read our list of what to do in Central Otago.
If you are looking to rent a campervan, Lake Wanaka is a great spot for families, couples, as well as solo travellers. It is an incredibly popular destination year-round due to its outstanding natural beauty. Enjoy your time here swimming, paddle-boarding, fishing or kayaking on the 193 square kilometre lake.
From the Wanaka area, you can see Mt. Aspiring National Park. This incredible National Park was ranked third in size among national forests in New Zealand, and is also a World Heritage area. Here you can see waterfalls, rivers and pristine forests by camping, biking, hiking or even heli-skiing.
If you love hiking, we recommend taking a day hike to the Blue Pools towards the swinging bridges. This is a great hike for people of all ages. Another popular hike is the Haast Pass Lookout Track. It is 2km long and ends with a beautiful view of the park.
Fiordland National Park
Established in 1952, Fiordland National Park is a 1.2 million hectare park. It was given the name Te Wahipounamu, or place of the greenstone, and in 1990 it was designated as a World Heritage Site. You will want to take lots of photos of the Fiordland National Park, so remember to pack your camera to capture the snow-capped mountains, waterfalls, and fjords.
Doubtful Sound is home to some of the most amazing wildlife. Witness bottle-nosed dolphins, penguins and fur seals in their natural environment. Not only is Doubtful Sound home to incredible wildlife, two-thirds of the park is also covered in pod carp and virgin beech forests. You can explore a 500 kilometre network of walking trails, including three of New Zealand’s Great Walks. The most popular is the Milford Track which can take up to five days.
More than 50 hiker’s huts are provided by the Department of Conservation (DOC). Included in the DOC huts are mattresses, a water supply and toilets. Due to the tracks being so busy in October to May, we recommend booking your journey well in advance. There are daily scenic cruises to the Milford Sound. Permits are required for hunting and fishing in the park.
Lake Waktipu is an inland lake shaped like a lightening bolt. It is the third largest lake in New Zealand, and the Rees and Dart river flow into it. All sides of the lake are bordered by mountains. The tide causes the water to rise and fall by about 10 cm every 25 minutes.
Visitors can cruise the lake on a restored steam ship. There is trout-fishing year-round, and during the summer, the beaches are a popular swimming spot.
Rent a campervan for the best way to see these sights in Central Otago. Take the road less travelled in comfort and style with our campervans.