A photo of The Best Wine Tasting Tours in Central Otago

Central Otago

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Best wine tours in Central Otago

Why Visit Central Otago?

Central Otago resides in quiet natural splendour at the heart of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s notable on both a national and global scale, for all kinds of reasons; it’s the most southerly wine producing region in the world, for a start, and enjoys a climate completely unique to New Zealand. By rights, it should have the maritime conditions common to every single other wine region in New Zealand, but in reality, its central location and protection from various mountain ranges give a continental feel, with warm, dry summers and significant temperature variation between day and night which allow this region to produce some of the most exciting wines in the entire country.

However, wine isn’t the only attraction here. Central Otago is quite simply one of the most breath-taking and beautiful places on the entire planet – which, with the rest of New Zealand offering stiff competition, is no mean feat. One of the filming locations for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it’s an unforgettable land of towering snow-capped mountains, endless skies and undulating, tussock-studded plains which attract tourists in their thousands. There is nowhere better to forget everyday life and immerse yourself in natural beauty and fascinating culture – accompanied, of course, by great gastronomy and some of the most up-and-coming wines in the world!

New Zealand is a true Mecca for anyone who loves the great outdoors, and Central is no exception. Cycling and mountain biking are particularly popular and a wonderful way to take in the splendour of the countryside – the region is home to three of New Zealand’s ‘23 Great Rides’ cycle trails, as well as countless others which allow you to trace historic railway lines, dramatic gorges and tumultuous rivers. Adrenaline junkies will also love taking in this scenery from a light aeroplane, helicopter or even a hang glider.

Winter is also a particularly good time for those in search of activity. The region’s climate is satisfyingly consistent and ensures fabulous changes in the seasons, with ice and snow guaranteed during the winter months. Think curling and ice skating on both commercial rinks and stunning natural lakes and dams, dog sledding and even the luge. The tiny mountain town of Naseby is particularly well-known as a centre of winter sports, boasting the only natural luge track in the Southern Hemisphere.

Queenstown, meanwhile, is not only one of the best places in the South Island to enjoy Pinot Noir (there are 200 different vineyards within a 40 minute drive of the town centre) but is a Mecca for adventure seekers, with every adrenaline-fuelled activity imaginable on offer – think white water rafting, bungee jumping, jet skiing and skydiving, to name but a few! In winter, Queenstown and neighbouring Wanaka are fantastic ski destinations, with pristine white slopes and an excellent après scene making this a great choice for those from the Northern Hemisphere in search of some summer snow.

To find out more about this amazing place, take a look at Winerist's full Central Otago Travel Guide.

Plan Your Visit

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