Welcome to Otago
Otago, New Zealand is in the southern portion of the South Island with a population of more than 200,000 residents. The name Otago comes from a southern dialect Maori word which means “place of red Earth,” for the red-ochre clay which is common in the area.
Starting as an outgrowth of the Free Church of Scotland, the Otago settlement was established in March of 1848 with the arrival of two immigrant ships from Greenock, Scotland. The 1860s saw rapid commercial expansion in central Otago after gold was discovered Gabriel’s Gully near Lawrence. It was during this period that the University of Otago, New Zealand’s first university, was founded in 1869.
One of the highlights of any trip to Otago is a visit to its flourishing central wine region. The area produces a wide variety of delicious award-winning wines. As a result Otago has quickly become one of New Zealand’s leading pinot noir producers. With such a rich and illustrious history, the Otago region easily offers a wide variety of travel delights for visitors to enjoy. Hire a campervan with Mighway, and let the journey unfold!
Getting to Otago
The whole mighway experience was fantastic - we spent five days driving the North Island. The vehicle was in excellent condition and the mighway agent at RV Supercentre in Auckland was really helpful and thorough. I would highly recommend the Mighway experience!
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Showcasing some of the best wines in all of New Zealand, Otago wine tours offer visitors a chance to see some of the top vineyards and wineries in the country. Wine-tasting connoisseurs can sample some of the most impressive internationally-acclaimed wines available such as pinot noir, chardonnay, riesling, pinot gris, merlot and rose. Appellation Central Wine Tours is just one of the companies offering wine aficionados a deluxe tour of central Otago wine country.
Scottish gold miners introduced curling to central Otago more than 130 years ago. This wildly popular sport is still played today and because the rink is indoors visitors can pick up a broom and try their luck rain, snow or shine. The Naseby Indoor Curling Rink, the only one in the Southern Hemisphere, offers an onsite gift shop featuring a wide variety of curling souvenirs as well as professional curling equipment and gear. Outdoor curling is also available during the winter.
One of the more unique winter offerings in the Otago area is authentic sled rides pulled by a well-trained pack of Alaskan Malamutes. This exciting winter activity exploring some of the most beautiful and scenic parts of Otago is offered by Real Dog Adventures. Visitors can meet the dogs and take a turn harnessing them to the sled before heading out. Once en route there are plenty of places to stop to enjoy the scenery as well as take photos with the sled team. Central Otago provides the perfect backdrop for this one-of-a-kind winter excursion.