The Maniototo is a great day trip from Dunedin or Queenstown. The roads are very good all year round with only the occasional day during winter where the roads are best checked first for snow conditions.
If you’re travelling from the East Coast to Central Otago there is the option to turn inland at Palmerston to Ranfurly through the ‘Pigroot’ and into the Maniototo. Travel to Alexandra then back down via Roxburgh to the ‘Edinburgh of the South’, Dunedin. This is a wonderful round trip taking in some of the best scenery in the South Island.
Otago Central Rail Trail
Be sure to allow additional days for off trail exploration when booking your Otago Central Rail Trail experience. The majority of the Rail Trail takes in the Maniototo area. The trail is full of wonderful sites but there are many half day trips and activites to enjoy such as curling in Naseby, shopping in Ranfurly, a picnic and walk up the Sowburn river in Patearoa or hire a car and head off trail to explore the Maniototo Heritage Trail (below).
Maniototo Heritage Trail
The Maniototo Heritage Trail covers some 200 kms of sealed and graveled roads. You may decided to do parts of the trail or complete it over two days. Visit historic townships, remote country pubs and cemeteries. The trail provides many places to explore and to view the vast landscape.
The Maniototo Heritage Trail brochure includes full map and descriptions and is available at Ranfurly i-site, various locations around the Maniototo or can be downloaded in pdf format here … Maniototo Heritage Trail Brochure 2015