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Central Otago’s spectacular scenery and stunning unspoiled wilderness is home—and inspiration—to a phenomenal range of talented artists: painters and sculptors, ceramic and glass artists, photographers, fabric and textile artists, woodcarvers and furniture makers, metal workers and jewellers.

It’s a heady list but spend a little time on the Central Otago Arts Trail, and exploring their work and learning more about their practices couldn’t be easier.

The arts trails is mapped out by areas into do-able bites, drive the trail—and back roads—to find artists at work in their studios and workshops. It’s a great way to tour the road less-travelled, chat to locals and you can even take home a slice of Central Otago.

Short on time?

Then head to Cromwell’s Heritage Precinct and its eclectic collection of galleries and artists’ studios. The precinct’s 1860s’ gold rush buildings—saved or lovingly re-built on higher ground when the 1990 Clyde dam was completed—sit snugly alongside the picturesque shores of Lake Dunstan. Now imaginatively re-purposed, wander through exhibition spaces displaying solo and group exhibitions, and visit artists, craftsmen and craftswomen busy in their work spaces. Look out for OCTA Gallery, Hullaboo Artspace and Art Cut Gallery.

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