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Maniototo Valley

Māniatoto Valley

Ranfurly • Naseby • Waipiata • Wedderburn • Patearoa • Dansey's Pass

With its intense mountain ranges fringing the open plains, the Māniatoto Valley is quintessentially New Zealand Country. With its brilliant blue skies during the day and dark velvet glistening skies at night, this is big sky country. 

Rural, rugged and resourceful, the Māniatoto  Valley offers endless recreational opportunities for locals and visitors alike. Biking, hiking, off-roading, art, history, swimming and more, the Māniatoto Valley brings out the wonder in everyone. 


Itinerary Fillers to Make Your Stay in the Māniatoto Valley a great one!

Curling in Naseby

An obvious must do for the Māniatoto Region. Curling is one of those sports that is bound to leave you with a smile on your face. The whole premise of it is hilarious in itself - 20kg stones is essentially 'bowled' across the ice, then you 'sweep' with brooms to slow the stone down. Easy to cater to big groups, pairs or families, curling at the Naseby International Curling Rink is a must! 


Our Towns


At the heart of the Maniototo Plain is Ranfurly. Formerly known as Eweburn, this rural settlement was renamed after Lord Ranfurly, the governor, visited the town in 1898. This was the same year that the Otago Railway reached the town. Ranfurly boomed with the introduction of the Railway, and post offices, hotels, schools and libraries sprung up quickly to service both the railway sector and the agricultural sector.

Ranfurly is famous for its many Art Deco inspired buildings. These were part of a 'building boom' after a series of mysterious fires in the 1930s burned down key buildings in the town. Adopting the popular Art Deco style at the time, the buildings still exhibit this unique architecture today. Be sure to check out the Centennial Milkbar, the Ranfurly Hotel, the Railway Station, and the Old Post Office. 

Ranfurly Art Deco


Waipiata boomed with the introduction of the Otago Railway in 1898. By 1900 Waipiata had a school, post office, sale yards, hall, hotel, shops and even a rabbit processing factory! This provided jobs for over 100 people for years and the produce was exported to Dunedin via the railway. 

Waipiata's fresh air and open skies led to a sanatorium opening in the area as a cure for tuberculosis patients in 1914. In its hayday, there were about 110 patients residing there. 

Waipiata has slowed down after the railway ceased, however it still continues to service those biking the Otago Central Rail Trail, as well as providing the locals with epic feeds at the Waipiata Country Hotel. 

Wedderburn Otago Central Rail Trail


Conveniently located halfway along the Otago Central Rail Trail, Wedderburn has always been an overnight stop for coaches, miners, locals and travellers since 1885. In 1900 the Otago Railway reached Wedderburn, and logs, sheep and coal were loaded onto the trains to Dunedin. It continued to breathe life into the area, until private cars and road improvements meant the railway wasn't economically sustainable. The last passenger rode the train to Wedderburn in 1976, and the goods and produce trains ceased in 1990.

In 2000, the Otago Central Rail Trail brought a new way of travellers to the township. The Wedderburn Country Tavern offers refreshments to cyclists, visitors and locals.


The gold rush came hard and fast to Patearoa, and was over before you knew it, however it brought schools, churches, post offices stores and hotels by 1890. It is a small township with hot, dry summers, freezing cold winters and panoramic views of the Rock & Pillar Range, the Kakanui and Rough Ridge Range and the Hawkdun Range.

Take a stroll down the Sowburn Walkway and see the remnants of the gold rush era. Today you will find a teeny (but still functional) library, a hotel, a school and tennis courts. Be sure to visit The Patearoa for some classic kiwi hospitality.

Patearoa Library

Dansey's Pass

Connecting Waitaki and Central Otago is the Dansey's Pass. Traversing the Kakanui mountain range, this is a well-used route that was used originally for trade, and now used for those seeking adventure on the road less-travelled. Dansey's Pass. 

The strategically placed Dansey's Pass Hotel has been a haven for the weary traveller since 1862. It has seen gold miners, surveyors, coach drivers and explorers eat, drink and sleep there, 2000ft above sea level.

Please note, the Danseys Pass Road is mostly unsealed, however it is well-maintained so no need for a 4WD. It is unsuitable for caravans, trailers, campervans and buses.

Wedderburn Central Otago
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