This traditional little farming town alongside the Otago Central Rail Trail has served its community and visitors well since forever and has a heartbeat powered by ingenuity.
Oturehua boasts views of Mt Ida and the iconic Hawkdun Range and is home to the famous Hayes Engineering Works and cafe where you can see some of the ingenious labour-saving tools and inventions that Ernest Hayes devised to make hard yakka not quite so hard for pastoral farmers back in the 1890s.
See the beginnings of the world renowned fence-wire strainer and portable rabbit smoker and delight in seeing the workshop’s clever mechanisms still going strong. Ernest was thoughtful as he designed a special wheel for wife Hannah's cycle so she wasn't delayed when out on her sales calls with a flat tyre.
If you’re in need of some road trip goodies, or even if you’re not, don’t leave Oturehua without stepping back in time and having a good old nosey around Gilchrists, New Zealand’s oldest running store – delighting customers and unchanged since 1899.
For a glimpse of gold mining innovation, venture down Reef Road and take a gander at the Golden Progress Quartz Mine and its impressive equipment used to find gold notoriously tricky to mine.
In the winter months, when the conditions are just right (really cold and icy) Idaburn Dam - just south of Oturehua, hosts the ancient curling Bonspiel tournament which if you were to catch it would be pretty unique.
Idaburn Dam is also a great fishing spot and the paddock next door hosts the popular Brass Monkey Motorcycle Rally – an annual winter rally which sees all sorts of mopeds, scooters, trikes, trail bikes and motorcycles travelling around in the cold having a merry old time and warming up and having a good old yarn around the bonfire afterwards.