Link to Report and Maps
Lifestyle and Recreational Opportunities
Central Otago is renowned for a lifestyle that encourages outdoor pursuits. These lifestyle opportunities are made possible by the superb climate, generous endowment of rivers and lakes and some of the most spectacular mountains in the country. Whether your interests lean to fishing, golf, four-wheel driving, mountain biking, kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, walking or exploring the remains of the gold-mining days, it is immediately accessible in Central Otago.
The climate and emphasis on outdoor opportunities also encourage family activities. Central Otago is also developing a thriving café and restaurant scene centred on the wineries. Central Otago produces some of the best wines in the country, especially the pinot noirs.
There is no rush hour at the end of the Central Otago day. Commuting distances are generally short and the roads are seldom crowded. While winter driving demands care and attention, the long daylight hours over summer and autumn make for safe and enjoyable driving.
For more general information on what ‘Central’ has to offer for lifestyle and recreation please click on this link
At the 2006 Census the population of Central Otago was about 16,650. This represents a significant increase in the preceding 5 years of 15%, which is twice the rate of population increase for New Zealand and represents 0.4 percent of the country’s usually resident population.
The main towns are
- Alexandra 4,900
- Cromwell 3,600
- Clyde 900
- Roxburgh 600
- Ranfurly 700
For more information on the towns and areas of Central Otago follow this link for visitor information or this link if you are considering moving here.
Central Otago’s population density of 1.7 people per square kilometre is the lowest in the country (the New Zealand average is 14.9 people per square kilometre). This, together with the landscape, gives Central Otago its particular character. The roads are long and straight and are seldom crowded. The wide-open spaces and vistas are a particular source of pride and pleasure to the locals. Residents and visitors to Central Otago enjoy a well developed retail and entertainment infrastructure. For those things that can’t be found within the District Queenstown, Invercargill and Dunedin are all situated within 1 to 2.5 hours easy travel.
Travel Times to Other Centres
For information on travel times to and from Central Otago townships click on the following link.
Central Otago Climate
Central Otago’s climate is the closest we have in New Zealand to a continental climate. Climatic variations based on low rainfall, hot summers and cold winters make for clearly defined seasons. For more information on Central’s unique climate click here.
The standard of housing in Central Otago is high. The climate and Council building standards demand that houses be fully insulated and of sound construction. Double glazing and underfloor heating (electric or hot water) is now common in new houses. Plaster or roughcast finishes are also popular. Stacked stone exterior cladding – reflecting Central Otago’s heritage – is also a feature on many upmarket homes and commercial buildings.
Due in part to the dry continental climate, leaky building syndrome has not been an issue for Central Otago.
For more detailed on residential house and section prices click on this link.
Building costs average about $1,500 per square metre for a basic house but more upmarket houses might average about $2,000 per square metre.
Rural lifestyle blocks are also popular with people who are interested in growing grapes, olives, peonies or just running horses or a few livestock. Lifestyle blocks are usually about 10 acres (four hectares) but can be larger according to location and local planning requirements.
Farm prices still command a premium and vary widely according to location and the availability of irrigation water.
Health and Educational Facilities and Social Infrastructure
Central Otago is well serviced by public and private health facilities. For more information please click on this link.
Central Otago is well served with pre-school, primary and secondary level schools. In addition, Otago Polytechnic has a prominent profile with a campus located in Cromwell and there are a number of other educational resources for residents. To find out more please click here.
Clubs and community services
There is a comprehensive range of clubs and community services available in Central Otago. For a complete list of these please follow this link.