Lauder has one of the most clean and pollution-free atmospheres in the world

Named after the Berwickshire town of Lauder in south eastern Scotland, Lauder was very much a railways township. During construction of the Otago Central Railway, ballast was quarried nearby. This is the coarse rock used as bedding for sleepers and metal rails. Lauder is also known for the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere Research Centre (NIWA), located a few hundred metres out of town. Here scientists measure climatic features and study issues such as climate change and ozone depletion. Lauder has one of the most clean and pollution-free atmospheres in the world. The Rail Trail crosses State Highway 85 at Lauder making it a convenient meeting point for cyclists and walkers and support vehicles.


Population: 12

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Lauder Store Accommodation

Tagged as: Bed & Breakfast, Historic

Pam and Bruce Walker welcome you to the Lauder Store Accommodation, situated on the Otago Central Rail Trail at Lauder in Central Otago.


Old Store: $195 couple and $45 for extra person (Sleeps up to 4)
The Main House: $150 per room(2 people) and Bunkroom  $75 single $110 two people
The Snug: (King ensuite room) $170 2 people)
Children 2 – 12  $60 per night

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Big Sky Cottage - Lauder

Tagged as: Self - Contained, Historic

Welcome to Big Sky Cottage, a beautiful character 1930s mud brick house, providing self contained accommodation in Lauder.


2 people $155 per night, 3 people $200 per night, 4 people $240 per night

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Lauder School B&B

Tagged as: Bed & Breakfast, , Historic

Lauder School B&B offers a range of tastefully-decorated accommodation at the historic Lauder Railway School. Situated right on the Rail Trail in Lauder it makes an ideal first or last night of a Rail Trail adventure or fantastic base for a family celebration or wedding. Sleeps up to 22 guests.


From $75 - $160 per night including a generous continental breakfast

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The Lauder Hotel

Originally built as the Railway Hotel, it was turned 180° to face the road as use of the railway declined. Be sure of great food and friendly hospitality.

Ph: 03 447 3706.

The Stationside Café

Shirley and her team pride themselves on preparing appealing delicious and nutritious meals, on site daily.

Ph: 03 447 3580.

The Poolburn Gorge

The Poolburn Gorge is one of the most dramatic sections on the Rail Trail.  For this reason it is recommended that cyclists pack snacks and allow for a stop to give them a chance to soak up the stunning scenery of the gorge.  A torch is recommended for the tunnel.  Take the time to get off your bike and view the Viaduct, the tunnels and the bridge structures.

National Institute of Water and Atmosphere Research Centre (NIWA)

National Institute of Water and Atmosphere Research Centre (NIWA), which is located a few kilometres out of town, measuring climatic features and studying issues such as climate change and ozone depletion.  Lauder has one of the most clean and pollution-free atmospheres in the world.  Ph: 03 440 0429

Lauder Ukulele Festival

Lauder Ukulele Festival - Waitangi Day weekend.

When: 5,6,7 and 8 February 2021



The Rail Trail Guide Book

The single most important resource when travelling the Central Otago Rail Trail

A beautifully crafted book with amazing photography by Peter Andrews showing Central Otago as it truly is, one of the most rugged, extreme and beautiful locations on the planet. Stunning scenery, amazing and important historical and current information, detailed maps, lists of accommodation, frequently asked questions, where to eat, how far between towns, etc. It’s all in here.

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