Central Otago is a powerful landscape, sunny, dry and brown with weathered ancient mountains, alpine herb fields and fast flowing rivers. In the 1860’s this was a place of gold.
But the gold today, in Central Otago, is wine. Pinot noir, that most fickle of grape varieties, excels in these southernmost vineyards and most of the wineries will welcome you for tours and tastings. You can go wildflower walking in Alexandra, take a cruice on Lakes Dunstan and Roxburgh, or for another form of transport entirely, go biking along the Central Otago Rail Trail. The 150 km trail follows the route of the old railway and you cycle from station to station staying in locations little touched by modern hustle and bustle.
Dunedin is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the principal city of the Otago Region. It is considered to be one of the four main urban centres of New Zealand for historic, cultural, and geographic reasons. Dunedin was the largest city in New Zealand by population until about 1900. The Dunedin urban area lies on the central-eastern coast of Otago, surrounding the head of Otago Harbour. The harbour and hills around Dunedin are the remnants of an extinct volcano. The city suburbs extend out into the surrounding valleys and hills, onto the isthmus of theOtago Peninsula, and along the shores of the Otago Harbour and the Pacific Ocean.The city’s largest industry is tertiary education – Dunedin is home to the University of Otago, New Zealand’s first university (1869), and the Otago Polytechnic. Students account for a large proportion of the population: 21.6 percent of the city’s population was aged between 15 and 24 at the 2006 census, compared to the New Zealand average of 14.2 percent.