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Otago is the second largest region in New Zealand in terms of land area; approximately 32,000 sq km or 12% of New Zealand's land area. The coastline stretches approximately 480km from the Waitaki River in the north to Wallace Beach in the south. There are four districts and one city in the Otago region. While the Waitaki District falls partly within the Otago region and partly within the Canterbury region, 90% of its population live in the Otago region. Dunedin City, at approximately 3,300 sq km, is the largest city in New Zealand in terms of land area. 60% of the region's population live in the Dunedin urban area

Otago's unique character is defined by a magnificent landscape and diverse climate. To the west lies snow covered mountains, forests and perfectly stunning southern lakes. Dry tussock covered mountains and valleys of rock compliment a diversely wild, beautiful and adventurous land.

Hot summers and cold winters provide the perfect climate for winter sports and summer holidaying and adventure. Coastal Otago tends to have a reasonably cloudy maritime climate and there is a relatively small shift in temperature from summer to winter. Inland there is less cloud and the climate is more continental. Therefore in places like Central Otago, the summer days are hotter, and the winter days colder, with much colder nights. Otago at 45°S in the oceanic southern hemisphere, experiences alternating periods of sun and rain, with enough to fill the major lakes and rivers, and ensure snow for winter sports.

Superb natural features include stunning mountain landscapes, gold mines, large rural areas with sheep, paddocks, rivers, lakes, and white sandy beaches.

Otago's Lifestyle

Otago has a character that is hard working, social, friendly, and laid back. Otago people have a proud loyalty to the land. People living in Otago are not in a hurry, they seem to have less worries and more free time. It's a more relaxed place; there is no living in the fast lane!  Otago is a place with a "can do attitude" that drives new business innovation in engineering and biotechnology. It is a hub of academic excellence.


Dunedin is an innovative and creative region that has a developed reputation for biotechnology, engineering, tourism and fashion. Dunedin is the financial and commercial hub of Otago. Dunedin city hosts an economic development unit and other agencies that support business development in the area.


International Education is recognised as making an important contribution to Dunedin's cultural and economic profile. Each year, over 2250 students from more than 75 countries choose to study in Dunedin. Dunedin has the deserved reputation as the country's premier centre of learning and contributes over $340 million annually to the Cities economy.

Find out more about making Otago your home;

Otago Tourism

Dunedin City Council

Otago Regional Council


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