Cromwell - Your Central Otago holiday destination

For the active and adventurous, the wine lovers and photographers, Cromwell has so much to offer both young and old. There are many things to do in Cromwell and with everything right on your doorstep, it’s a must to stay in Cromwell and experience all it has to offer.

Things to do

About Cromwell

Location - Looking for a holiday that's central to everything? No guessing the answer to that.
Cromwell and the Golden Gate Lodge:

Weather and Climate - Looking to escape to weather that's as close as it gets in New Zealand to a continental climate? What this means is Cromwell is in the region of New Zealand's lowest annual rainfall where summers are hot with low humidity and winters cold and crisp. As for spring and autumn, they're spectacular.

The history

In 1862 two miners, Hartley and Reilly, discovered gold just a few kilometers down the Clutha from the junction of the two rivers. This was the find that started the Otago Gold Rush and turned a tiny settlement into a township of thousands. Unlike many of Central Otago's gold mining townships, when the gold ran out Cromwell survived, becoming a key service centre of what would become an extensive farming and fruit growing area.

Cromwell TownIn the 1990s it looked as if Cromwell might finally succumb to change. The creation of Lake Dunstan drowned the river confluence and the main business centre of town, but before than happened community spirit forced the saving of a number of historic buildings. Their relocation and rebuilding created what is now Old Cromwell Town. Over the years further buildings have been restored or replicated to make this a major attraction especially during summer months when the Central Otago Famers' Market is held every Sunday. Community pressure also saw the building of the Cromwell Shopping Mall which is just across the road from the Golden Gate Lodge.

Central Otago Wine

Wine BarrelsToo cold. Too far south. Too high. The doubters and skeptics had a field day when in the 1990s the first serious efforts were made to establish Central Otago as a wine growing region. From just 11 wineries in 1996 there are now around 80. Most vineyards are relatively small focusing on quality rather than quantity. A philosophy that has established a world wide reputation for Central Otago Pinot Noir wines. Staying at the Golden Gate Lodge puts you right at the centre of wine tasting. The Golden Gate Lodge’s free courtesy van will take you to vineyards and collect you afterwards.

Before the 1990s when the giant Clyde hydro electricity dam created Lake Dunstan, Cromwell's claim to fame was as the township at the junction of the swift-flowing Kawarau River and mighty Clutha River (Mata-Au), New Zealand's biggest river by volume.

Not unsurprisingly Cromwell was first known as 'The Junction' but in a show of patriotism for Mother England; pioneer townsfolk changed the name to Cromwell in honor of the English military and political leader, Oliver Cromwell.

Lake Dunstan Summer Activity
Food and Wine
Golden Gate Accommodation Dunes Wing
Gold fields Jet