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Exploring off the Otago Central Rail Trail

While the Otago Central Rail Trail highlights many historic towns and incredible landscapes, there are a couple of hidden gems that deserve a detour!

St Bathans

St Bathan's is a historic gold mining town found on the edges of the Manuherikia Valley. After being a hotspot for gold, and then years and years of continuous and intensive sluicing, the Blue Lake was created. Naturally filled with water over time, this Blue Lake is a popular spot all year around!

Stop here for a drink at the local hotel, a picnic by the lake or a camp at the reserve. 

St Bathan's Blue Lake
Ophir Post Office


After gold was discovered in 1863, the Ophir township was a hive of activity. Lining the main street of Ophir was a post office, a bank, a bakery, a school, a gaol, churches, hotels, cottages and even a drapery.

With its historic character kept today, make sure to detour across the Daniel O'Connell suspension bridge and explore this quaint, authentic town. 

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