The best things to do in the Otago summer

Otago is a place for memories to be made. From the rugged coast to dramatic inland scenery, there’s never a lack of things to do in our region.

And Christmas is the best time to branch out and try something new: there’s a whole range of seasonal summer activities and the whole family has time to try them together.

Here are our favourite things to do at this time of year:

1. Spot wildlife on the Dunedin coast

Our coastline is full of rare and interesting animals and birds including seals, albatrosses, penguins and kea. There are plenty of tours and organisations on offer to help you get as close to the wildlife as possible without damaging their natural habitat.

2. Cycle the Otago Central Rail Trail

The trail runs past historic gold-mining villages, rugged scenery and country pubs. From a half day to five days or more, there’s an itinerary for everyone and plenty of additional activities to squeeze in on the way.

3. Watch (or even play!) summer’s best sport — rugby sevens

Watch Otago Rugby play sevens, plan for next winter’s season ticket or get a game going in the park — you’re bound to find some locals who love their footy!

4. Wine-tasting and fruit-picking in Central Otago

You can’t visit Central Otago without making the most of our world-renowned wineries and orchards. We reckon you’ll love the vibrant and distinctive flavours of the delicious local produce: there’s nothing better than relaxing in the sun with some great food and drink.

5. Gear up for some motorsport action

Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell is the ultimate day out and is sure to unleash your inner racing car driver. And there’s something for everyone: from go-karting to Aston Martins to the very enjoyable Jurassic Safari.

6. Hit the lakes for water sports

For a fun-filled day that the kids will love, look no further than our expansive and beautiful lakes. Queenstown and Wanaka’s lakes and waterways offer plenty of excitement including cruises, jet-skiing, jet-boating and paddle-boarding.

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We hope you enjoy the festive season in Otago. We’d like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.