The Otago region of South Island is packed with amazing attractions that can entice any visitor. If you are looking to engulf into the lap of nature, would like to understand the New Zealand history or want to see and admire some the country’s finest architectural examples, you will have a long list of such attractions that will keep you occupied for many days.
Here I have rounded up 5 must-visit things in Otago, you must not miss out visiting when you plan to spend your vacation in New Zealand.
1. Royal Albatross Centre
Taiaroa Head, on the Otago Peninsula, is a great place of its kind. It is home to a range of unique New Zealand wildlife, in addition to the Royal Albatross Centre – which is the world’s only mainland breeding place of these amazing bird species. You can have here the guided tours around the headland, displaying the history and the bringing visitors up close to the nesting Royal Albatrosses, Stewart Island shags, sea lions, fur seals, and penguins that called New Zealand coastline home.
2. Steampunk HQ
Over the years the Victorian town of Oamaru, just an hour and a half’s drive away from Dunedin, has become New Zealand’s hub for all things steampunk. An annual steampunk festival put the town’s alternative culture into the world stage, but it is Steampunk HQ keeps this quirky identity alive throughout the year. True to its retro-futuristic affinities, this museum is quite interactive and features a collection of artwork, regular movie screenings, sculpture and sound exhibits.
3. Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge
Queenstown is known for extreme sporting initiatives, and the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge is where the world’s first professional bungee jumping operations were initiated. This bridge is also part of the Queenstown Trail – a popular walking and cycling terrain that connects Queenstown to Arrowtown and Gibbston. Its namesake river is one of the primary local destinations, for adventurous activities like jet boating and water rafting.
4. Taieri Gorge Railway
You can also take a scenic journey across the Taieri Gorge Railway which is a great choice if you want to romance with the Otago region’s diversified landscapes. The trip starts from Dunedin, traversing the Taieri Gorge and River, 10 different tunnels and a dozen viaducts while it makes its way over to the towns of Middlemarch and Pukerangi. You will also find many minor stops along the way, allowing you to take ample opportunity to take snaps before re-embarking onto the vintage train carriages to see the passing sceneries and listen to the on-board commentary about the area’s history.
5. Larnach Castle
The historic Larnach Castle was the structure of its kind in New Zealand until quite recently. The castle has had a colorful past. Earlier it is used as a lunatic asylum and has since been restored as a tourist attraction, accommodation, and events venue. It was designed by local banker and politician William Larnach for his first wife Eliza in 1871. It took over 200 builders to construct in three years; further expansion of the original design took another 12 years to complete.
Visiting Otago, New Zealand could actually be a wonderful and memorable trip where you must not miss out checking out above listed destinations.