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Road trip

Inland Otago road trip guide where to go and what to see

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Dunedin to Queenstown via central Otago

HOW TO USE THIS ROAD TRIP

Departing from either Queenstown or Dunedin you are following the inland roads through central Otago. There is an alternative detour route for visitors wishing to spend more time exploring Otago.

DETOUR

Alexandra is where you can decide to take a side road. Visitors can explore the lesser known areas of central Otago with a detour through the heritage gold mining districts and orchards of Otago.

TRIP PROFILE

Start: Queenstown or Dunedin

Finish: Queenstown or Dunedin

Duration: 2 days to several days

Route Map (start Queenstown)

State Highway 8, State Highway 85 and State Highway 87

Arrowtown, AJ Hackett Gibbston, Roaring Meg waterfall, Cromwell, Clyde, Alexandra, Ranfurly and Middlemarch

336 km

Discover who turned up and named places and the legacy left behind. There are railway bridges, lonely cemeteries and railways now reimagined as cycle trails. Find the people who now call the places home. From artists creating magic in the folded hills of Otago to active adventurers who challenge visitors to experience the new.

Eat, drink and savour the taste of Otago. Single origin family owned vineyards where passionate vinetaurs create pinot noir magic. Sample delicious pub food and bakeries along the way. Soak up the landscapes from the high country tussock of Maniototo to lush green pastures as you reach Dunedin. Linger in forgotten Victorian era gold mining towns.

Maniototo, New Zealand @cookiemick
Maniototo @cookiemick
Gibbston Wines @DestinationQueenstown
Gibbston Wines @DestinationQueenstown

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Arrowtown mature tree lined main street fronted with pretty Victorian shop fronts
  • Adventure calls, bungee jump with AJ Hackett
  • Explore Gibbston single origin wineries
  • Cromwell gold mining heritage town
  • Clyde the majestic river beckons for an afternoon leisurely exploring the river
  • Alexandra, fruit bowl of New Zealand
  • Ranfurly
  • Middlemarch where the trains stopped running and the Manitoto tussock lands entice

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are road trips suitable for a motorhome?

Definitely

How many days should I plan for the trip?

As little as two days to a week.

Can I drive these routes in winter?

Yes, however there could be road closures due to ice and snow.

Where should I stay?

This depends on how fast or slow your journey is. Remember to book accommodation before you depart.

Can I create a loop journey and return to Queenstown?

Yes, definitely, use both trips to create a very exciting loop journey through interior Otago.

Roaring Meg Power Station Waterfall, New Zealand @ikoiko1023
Roaring Meg Power Station Waterfall @ikoiko1023
Ettrick, Otago, New Zealand @Benchill
Ettrick, Otago @Benchill

Can I continue onto the Southern Scenic Road trip?

Yes, definitely, Queenstown is a hub for several road trips. Simply follow the route Invercargill to Queenstown REVERSING the journey with a start in Queenstown.

How do I reverse a road trip?

Start reading the road trip from the bottom of the road trip guide. It’s that simple.

Are the museums open every day?

This is a great question as volunteers staff the small regional museums. For an important bucket list attraction plan your trip around their opening hours. Telephone / email beforehand to sort out when the attraction is open.

Are there petrol stations along the routes?

Yes, there will not be a problem finding fuel depots.

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