Located in the heart of Central Otago Cromwell is a destination that is central to everywhere! It is a special place not to be missed. From rugged to rolling hills, two great rivers and the sparking pristine waters of Lake Dunstan - the natural beauty of the area is overwhelming.
The Cromwell basin is home to a host of award-winning wineries; enjoy the scenery while enjoying some the world’s finest pinot noir.
Situated on the shore of Lake Dunstan it is an idyllic location for swimming, fishing, boating and water sports in summer. In winter, there are five fantastic skifields all within comfortable driving distances. It is also home to the famous Highland's Motorsport Park, a popular visitor attraction with activities for the whole family.
Adventure activities are on the menu for the whole family. Your options range from thrill seeking mountain bike trails and cycling tracks, all-season walking & hiking tracks, gripping rides in a race car, helicopter or jetboat, just to name a few. The area also has a rich heritage past with remnants of goldfields to explore and wonder at the tenacity of those that came before. Be sure to take a wander down to the historic Cromwell Heritage Precinct for a selection of boutique shops, art galleries and cosy cafes.
Cromwell's central location makes it an excellent base for exploring the wider Central Otago area, allowing for easy day trips to nearby towns such as Queenstown, Arrowtown, Wanaka, Clyde and Alexandra.
Apart from its location as a hub of three major gorges, Cromwell's other attractions include its pleasant and dry climate. Summers are hot with temperatures from 25-30 degrees, while winters are frosty (down to minus 10 degrees), but usually followed by a clear warm day. Rainfall is sparse at 400mm average per annum. The dry air also makes the frosts less unpleasant.
Cromwell had its beginnings in 1862 when two miners, Hartley and Reilly, discovered gold just below the junction of the Clutha and Kawarau Rivers. The rush that followed brought miners in their thousands to Central Otago.
With the construction of the Clyde Dam in the 1980’s, Cromwell became the residential and administrative centre for the development. A new suburb was joined onto the old town to house hydro workers. The former business centre in Melmore Terrace was relocated adjacent to the State Highway in a new mall. Other sporting, educational and cultural facilities were upgraded to a high standard.
Cromwell has maintained its function as a service base for a large rural hinterland. The continued growth of orcharding and the emergence of the wine industry have cemented the towns industries and continuing growth. Lake Dunstan has added to the growing list of attractions and opportunities for the area with activities such as picnicking, fishing, boating, sight-seeing, cruising etc.
A prominent feature is the Fruit Sculpture located adjacent to The Mall and State Highway. This was erected by a local service club and has become the symbol for Cromwell.
Central Otago District Council, 42 The Mall, Cromwell | Ph: