Central Otago offers a relaxed outdoor lifestyle. It’s a unique and beautiful place with much to offer. Like many, you might come here to study and never want to leave.
Central Otago offers a safe, friendly environment where you will soon get to know the locals. If you’re about to embark on a programme or short course at Central, let us help you get the basics sorted. Read on to find out about Central Otago’s climate, accommodation, schooling for your family, leisure activities, medical centres and more.
Central Otago has a ‘continental’ climate, with hot dry summers and cold winters. It is a land of extremes – each season is sharply defined.
Summer temperatures range from 10 to 30C, while in winter, temperatures can range from minus 6 to 15C. In both summer and winter, Central Otago is famous for its clear light and wide skies. Spring and autumn are special times in this region. Fruit blossom carpets the orchards in the spring, and the trees turn red, yellow and gold in the autumn.
Our new on-campus accommodation is now available for students studying full-time at Otago Polytechnic, Central Campus.
There are 7, five-bedroom houses.
Each house is self-contained, with a fully equipped kitchen with dishwasher, laundry with washing machine and dryer, living area, and single bedrooms. Bedrooms are equipped with a king single bed, desk, chair, wardrobe and drawers.
- New builds with double glazing and high levels of insulation.
- Fully furnished
- Shared kitchen, living, and bathroom facilities
- Rental is $160* per week
- Electricity is apportioned and invoiced monthly to individual students
- One-off Contingency Fee $300*
This accommodation is available for full-time students. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0800 765 9276.
There is a wide range of accommodation options for students in Central Otago. Choose between renting a room in a flat, staying in a studio or hostel, or homestay accommodation.
Many students love the experience of renting a house together with friends and other students. When flatting, you will share living costs such as electricity, telephone and food.
In Central Otago, unfurnished flats generally cost between $130-$200 per week per room with another $80-$100 in expenses like power, phone and food. Furnished flats typically cost slightly more – about $180-$200 per week, and are less common. Your expenses will most likely be the same as in an unfurnished property. Cromwell real estate agents have details of rental properties available within the area.
Studio and hostel accommodation
The Chalets is an unsupervised hostel where you can rent a single room for $125 per week, including electricity. Students are usually placed together in one of the chalets, sharing lounge, bathroom and kitchen facilities.
In a homestay, you will live with a local family in their home. There is limited availability of homestay accommodation in Central Otago. Homestays cost around $266 per week (all meals included), plus a one-off placement fee of $250.
Some great places to start your search include:
- Otago Polytechnic Student's Association accommodation page
- Trade Me (all campuses)
- The Cromwell Bulletin (Central Otago)
- The Cromwell i-site has listings of other accommodation suitable for short stays
Are you about to embark on a programme at Central, and need a school for your children? This region has a range of schooling options.
If you’re looking for a school close to campus, Cromwell has two primary schools and one secondary school.
Goldfields School (primary school)
23 Gilling Place, Cromwell
Cromwell Primary School
Molyneux Avenue, Cromwell
Cromwell College (secondary school)
Barry Avenue, Cromwell
Cromwell also has a selection of Pre-schools and Early Childhoo Education providers. For more information on these please click HERE.
Wanaka has two primary schools, one high school, and a choice of preschools.
Wanaka Primary School
7 Ironside Drive, Wanaka
Holy Family Catholic School
152 Aubrey Road, Wanaka
Phone +64 3 443 2394
Mount Aspiring College
Plantation Road, Wanaka
Phone +64 3 443 0499
Aspiring Beginnings Early Learning Centre
120 Warren Street, Wanaka
Phone +64 3 443 1181
45 Connor Street, Wanaka
Phone +64 3 443 4076
106 Tenby Street, Wanaka
Phone +64 3 443 7090
Central Otago is New Zealand’s adventure playground – when you’re not studying, this region has much to offer.
- Cycle one of the many trails in the region from the Central Otago Rail Trail to the Wanaka and Queenstown network of trails.
- Walk the many hill tracks, or go hiking or mountain biking
- Boat, swim, sail, kayak, wind-surf or fish in one of the local rivers and lakes
- Play a round of golf on one the local courses or chip ‘n’ putt at our Bannockburn Road site
- Rock climb in our stunning natural landscapes or enjoy the indoor climbing wall in Wanaka
- Enjoy the view and savour the region’s food and wine at one of the local restaurants and cafes
- Visit vineyards, where you can take a tour, visit the cellar or dine
- Catch a movie or visit one of the local libraries on a rainy day
- Visit the historical buildings in Old Cromwell Town, Clyde and Ophir
- Discover the old mining landscapes at the Bannockburn Sluicings and the Carrick and Bendigo Goldfields
- Pan for gold at the Kawarau Gorge Gold Mining Centre
- Visit the ‘lake in a lake’ at Mou Waho Island on Lake Wanaka
- Go horse riding in Cardrona
- Discover Mount Aspiring National Park
- Go to one of the many festivals and concerts in the region
- In winter, ski at one of the many ski-fields in Central
- Go to a race day at Highlands Motorsport Park, Speedway or the Cromwell horseracing track
- Join one of the many sports clubs or cultural groups who are always keen to have new members
Queenstown, being a larger town, offers a wide range of shopping and nightlife. It is also where you can bungy-jump and enjoy other high-adrenaline activities.
Cromwell Swim Centre is a fully-equipped indoor heated swimming pool complex with two pools. A great selection of organised weekday activities is available including aqua aerobics, canoeing, water babies, learn-to-swim and lifesaving. There are well-appointed changing rooms - private cubicles, hot showers and lockers.
Barry Avenue, Cromwell
Phone +64 3 455 0919
Gyms and Fitness Centres
There are three gyms in Cromwell along with a number of fitness groups.
The Workshop - https://www.theworkshop-fitnesscentre.com/
Central Fitness - https://www.central-fitnessgym.com/
NRG Health and Fitness - http://nrghealthandfitness.co.nz/
Central Yoga Studio - https://www.centralyogastudio.com/
Wanaka Pool and Fitness Centres
Wanaka Pool - https://www.qldc.govt.nz/recreation
Gyms and fitness centres in Wanaka include:
Latitude Health & Fitness - www.latitude44fitness.com
Proactive Health & Fitness - www.proactivewanaka.com
Please note: Student ID or a Community Services card is required for medical consultations.
The main Central campus is located in Cromwell, while Wanaka is the hub for our snow, avalanche outdoor adventure and midwifery programmes. Aside from thriving horticulture and viticulture industries, Cromwell is a service hub with a range of businesses and services. You can find most of Cromwell’s shops in the Cromwell Mall, just off Barry Avenue. Wanaka is more of a tourist destination, bustling with both summer and winter visitors.
View a list of Cromwell’s businesses and services – including professional and commercial services, retail stores, horticultural and trade services.