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arrowtown autumn

The best Autumn destinations in Otago


You'll be hard pushed to find the variation that Otago provides. From the rolling tussock hills to wineries, clear blue lakes to snowcapped mountains. The area really comes alive in autumn - as the trees change to a golden hue, the rivers swell, whilst snow dusts the mountain tops. A truly classic New Zealand scene. Here's a selection of must-visit places for your next South Island trip.

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If you leave Queenstown and travel North-East, you’ll soon find yourself in a late 19th century gold mining town with a stunning main street and surrounding gardens that are to die for. While you’re there, make sure you explore one of the nearby walking tracks to burn off some of the fantastic fudge from the Remarkables Sweet Shop. Arrowtown is also rich in history and a visit to the local museum will unlock many of the town’s historic gold rush secrets.


Only 50kms from Queenstown, Glenorchy is a supremely gorgeous town located at the head of Lake Wakatipu. Glenorchy is very much a hidden gem of the region, and although many tourists pass through, the town itself is tiny. A perfect place to set up camp by the lake, gazing up at the stunning Southern Alps, admiring the trees glowing red, orange and gold on the hillsides, and enjoy a few quiet days in Paradise. Or if that’s not quite to your fancy, head to the Dart River jet boat for a thrilling water adventure.

Lindis Pass

One of the main thoroughfares on the journey between Christchurch and Queenstown, Lindis Pass is an easily overlooked gem. Rising up to almost 1000m above sea level, it provides some stunning short walks amongst the tussock covered hills. From the saddle, take the peak track up roughly 20 minutes for great views over the ranges and the opportunity to watch the tiny cars pass on the road beneath - you'll feel a bit like you're in toy town.


Very much the tourist capital of the South Island, Queenstown is known to be the best place in the Southern Hemisphere for adventure experiences. From helicopter tours to jet boats, wineries to bungy jumping, you'll find plenty of activities to entertain in this mecca. If high octane adventure isn’t to your taste, instead head into town for a Fergburger and a craft beer, before heading on a guided off-road tour that will find you traversing on one of the many golden-orange mountain tracks wriggling around this stunning town.

Central Otago

Although more of a region, you just can’t miss Central Otago in autumn when the hills are alive with the sound of, well, orange! Central Otago is smack bang in the middle of the south island and is perfect for all things New Zealand. From wine to riding tracks, history and a landscape that will have you humming the theme song the whole time, you know the one. The climate here over autumn is stunningly mild making it perfect for riding, hiking and dining out in the evenings taking in the stunning views.

If this has inspired you to explore the Otago region this autumn, visit the maui motorhomes website to see how you can make the adventure your own!