Explore Our Region
Otematata is positioned right between the Waitaki Valley hydro dam lakes and is a popular holiday destination. The Waitaki Valley is an unspoilt, untouched paradise with some of the best scenery in New Zealand. Popular activities include fishing, water skiing, boating, mountain biking, soaking in the hot tubs, gliding over the McKenzie basin, skiing or boarding in the mountains or simply meandering through nature walks.
Surrounded by rugged peaks and beautiful lakes of the Waitaki Valley, this area echoes with tales of long ago. The earliest inhabitants were Māori on hunting expeditions or traveling through the valley to reach the inland areas and mountain passes. Otematata in Māori means place of good flint.
Otematata township was built in 1958 as a base for the construction of the Aviemore and Benmore Dams. ECNZ (Electricity Corporation of New Zealand) used it as a base until the early 1990s. Prior to that there were a few high country sheep stations, Rostriever Run owned by the Munro family and Otematata Station owned by the Cameron family.
The town swells with people in the Christmas and New Year holidays as holidaymakers from the bigger towns come to enjoy the lakes
Otematata is one of the few destinations left in New Zealand that has remained quaint and unexploited by tourism masses. With that said, it has a raft of activities on offer, right on it's backdoor step.