Things To Do in Otago | New Zealand's Original Rail Trail & More

Clyde is at the heart of Central Otago's majestic landscape and is the perfect base from which to explore the area by car, by bike, on foot or by water.

Take a wine tour and sample award-winning wines at some of the most scenic vineyards in New Zealand. For the adventurous traveller there are four-wheel-drive, flying, motor-racing and jet boating experiences and for those in search of a little culture, the Central Otago Arts Trail will interest visitors with its mix of painters, potters, sculptors and photographers.

Add to this some wonderful local restaurants and cafes and you have a menu of activities that will satisfy any appetite.

Cycling and the Otago Rail Trail

Cycle trails abound in Central Otago's impressive landscape including New Zealand’s premier cycleway, the Otago Central Rail Trail, which begins (or ends) at Clyde. The 152 km long trail follows the former route of the Otago Central Railway and is a journey into the region's heartland. Suitable for most abilities, this well graded trail passes vineyards, farmland, old mining settlements and spectacular river scenes with the ever-changing mountains and dry, rocky hills as a backdrop. 

Find out more about cycling >

Vineyards and Wine Tours

Central Otago is a spectacular setting for vineyards - rugged mountains, beautiful lakes and deep river gorges - this unique terroir is world renowned for producing premium quality wines, especially Pinot Noir.

Find out more about vineyards >


From gentle strolls around the pretty town of Clyde with its historic buildings to more energetic undertakings, there are numerous picturesque walks in this beautiful part of New Zealand. Whether it is stunning scenery that changes dramatically with each of Central Otago's four distinct seasons or the fascinating history of the 1860s goldrush, there are a myriad of possibilities. We can assist you with ideas on walks of different duration, interest and intensity.

Water Activities and River Cruising

Lake Dunstan, formed by the Clyde Dam construction, is a summer destination for boaties, water-skiers, kayakers, yachtsman, rowers, swimmers and fisherman.

Just downstream from Clyde, you can take a guided boat cruise on the Clutha River. Listen to the stories of its amazing history and geology whilst taking in the spectacular scenery.

You can explore gold miners huts that date back to the 1800s and have time to sit on the banks of the river with complimentary refreshments whilst taking in the sights and sounds of this majestic river. Bookings are essential – we can arrange this for you.

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Clutha River Cruises /

Jet Boating and Gold Experience

Located on the banks of the spectacular Kawerau Gorge, the Goldfields Mining Centre is a historic reserve some 25 hectares in size with mine shafts and tunnels, machinery, the Chinese village and many other heritage sites. Whilst here, take a 40-minute jet boat ride through the Kawerau Gorge - guaranteed to thrill and entertain you.

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Goldfield’s Jet /

4WD Experiences

Whatever the time of year Central Otago’s beauty is spectacular, so why not take some time out to experience the stunning local landscape.

Taking to the hills in a 4-wheel-drive offers marvellous views and exhilarating experiences. Local tour companies can organise personalised day trips and usually operate between September and April.


Flying and Scenic Flights

Get a bird's-eye view of Central Otago’s breath-taking landscape. From snow-capped rugged mountain ranges, to the regimented plantings of the vineyards and orchards, to the Clyde Dam and man-made Lake Dunstan, and the numerous cycle trails.

Options are fixed wing with Fly Alexandra where Nick promises some jaw-dropping scenery on your flight. Alternatively, enjoy a scenic helicopter flight with Richard and experience an alpine/ snow landing.

We can assist with arranging flights.

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Fly Alexandra /
Heliview /

Go Karting / Car Racing

The Highlands Motorsport Park near Cromwell (20 minutes from Clyde) has a fabulous motorsport museum, a world-class go-kart track with German built RimoGo-Karts capable of speeds of up to 50 km/hr, Dirt Buggies for some off road action, and of course the international standard race track where you can enjoy the thrill of a fast lap ride in a Porsche GT3, the Highlands Lamborghini, or a V8 Supercar.

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Highlands Motorsport Park /

Arts Trail

Central Otago is home to many talented artists, and information on their studio times and location is available. Ask us for a copy of the Central Otago Arts Trail brochure. Eade Gallery, featuring works from many local artists, is located across the road from Olivers and welcomes visitors. Hullabaloo art space is a collective of Central Otago artists, having its headquarters in Old Cromwell Town and well worth a visit.

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Central Otago Arts Trail /


Two museums are within walking distance of Olivers; the Clyde Museum and the Briar Herb Factory Museum. Experience family histories, photos, relics and stories of early gold-mining days. Opening hours are dependent upon the time of year so please feel free to check with us.


There is a pleasant nine hole golf course less than 10 minutes’ walk away, here in Clyde. Otherwise, Alexandra Golf Course, a beautiful 18 hole country course is 10 minutes' drive or the Greg Turner re-developed Cromwell Golf Course is only 20 minutes’ drive.

Winter Skiing

Within just over an hours’ drive we have Coronet Peak, the Remarkables, Treble Cone and Cardrona - the premier ski fields for the Southern Lakes District. Olivers is well placed for you to base yourself to enjoy this winter activity. We will happily assist you with your arrangements.


Clyde Cinema, across the road from Olivers, shows all the latest movies in a luxurious 42 seat cinema. Relax with a glass of wine, or coffee – multiple screenings per day.