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Students relax in the Octagon

Otago and surrounds

The University of Otago takes its name from the beautiful southern province of Otago. Within an hour's drive of the university campus, students can explore some of the region's and New Zealand's most spectacular scenic and outdoor attractions. It's ideal for day trips to any of the southern lakes and to high mountain valleys, rivers and secluded beaches. In contrast to Dunedin's moderate coastal climate, the inland region of Central Otago enjoys extreme seasons that allow snow sports in the winter and water sports in summer.


The internationally renowned resort of Queenstown in Central Otago is just three or four hours by car from Dunedin. Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu it is surrounded by magnificent mountains and rich farmland. Here you can ski, snow board, parapent, jetboat, go white-water rafting and bungy jumping.

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Close by is Lake Wanaka: in summer it offers yachting, windsurfing, water-skiing, rafting, kayaking, jetskiing and paragliding; in winter it is a mecca for skiers as it has three ski fields, including a cross-country course and heli-skiing.

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The Catlins

In South Otago the Catlins area is one of natural beauty with its spectacular waterfalls, dense rainforest and indigenous wildlife, a hiker's paradise.

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Milford Sound

Bordering Otago is Fiordland, one of New Zealand's and the world's finest scenic destinations. Mountain peaks, primal native forest and mirror-like fiords, its moods capture the imagination of every traveller.

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