This farming town flourished when the railway opened in 1905

Omakau Railway Station was built in 1904 and was at one time NZ’s busiest stock loading stations. Rather than construct a bridge over the Manuherikia River to take the Otago Central Railway to already well-established Ophir 2.5km away, the Government decided to create a new railhead and settlement, naming it Omakau. Today a township of some 400 hundred and still growing, Omakau offers Rail Trailers a range of accommodation and food and refreshment options.

From the centre of Omakau, signs point to Ophir. Cycle or walk over the concrete bridge across the Manuherikia River to take the 2.5km tarseal road to Ophir or use the off-road trail.  After cycling or strolling down the main street with its many historic buildings follow the road to the Daniel O’Connell Suspension Bridge built in 1880. Continue until connecting with State Highway 85, turning right to cycle back to the centre of Omakau. Estimated total distance: 6km.


Population: 400

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Matakanui Retreat B & B

Tagged as: Bed & Breakfast

Matakanui Retreat is on a sheep and beef farm in the heart of the Manuherikia Valley with the Dunstan Ranges in the background. There are 2 rooms available with access to an outdoor BBQ area, spa bath, own section of the house and a shared living area. A new warm, sunny and homely farmstay - we look forward to hosting you.


$160 per night (price for 2 people) or $90 (price per person)

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Millfield Cottage

Tagged as: Self - Contained
Millfield Cottage is a new, fully self contained, 3 bedroom accommodation for rail trailers or casual visitors.
Long or short term stayers are welcome.
$120 per night (2 adults) $50 for each adult thereafter,  $40 per child (up to age 14, adult price thereafter),  Preschoolers $30.Continental breakfast is included in the price.   
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Schist Rock Lodge


PER NIGHT - UP TO 2 PERSONS NZD $280 per Studio (min age 16 years) 

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Omakau Bedpost

Tagged as: Self - Contained, Historic

If you're looking for space, some history or a great place for the family then the Omakau Bedpost just might have something for you.


$75/ person or $45 / child under 13yrs - no charge for toddlers if you are supplying own port-a-cot and bedding - Minimum booking is $225 (3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children). Continental breakfast provided.

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Nicky's Place

Tagged as: Motel, Self - Contained

The perfect location for your Rail Trail stop over in Omakau


5 Ensuite studio units @ $180.00 (1 or 2 persons) extra per person $40.00

Portacot $10


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The Muddy Creek Café and Takeaways

A good range of tasty food and a great atmosphere. Ph: 03 447 3344.

Omakau Commercial Hotel

The Hotel is available for any of your dining requirements, whether it is Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner or that special function – 364 days a year. They have a wonderful selection of Central Otago wines and Ales available from our bar to quench your thirst, and/or to compliment your meal. Ph: 03 447 3715

Four Square

 Groceries. Open Monday to Friday.

Daniel O’Connell Suspension Bridge

Cycling the Omakau-to-Ophir Circuit is a must-do! From the centre of Omakau you will clearly see a sign pointing to Ophir.  Cycle over the concrete bridge across the Manuherikia River.  Proceed for 2.5km to Ophir where you can cycle down the main street and see the many historic buildings before crossing the historic Daniel O’Connell Suspension Bridge.

Old Stone Stable

Take a look at the Old Stone Stable at the back of the Omakau Commercial Hotel.  Speights Brewery made the stables famous when it ran a TV commercial about the Beer Deerstalkers Ball.

Grand Omakau Catholic Church

To the north on the hill is the grand Omakau Catholic Church.

Omakau Golf Course

Omakau Golf Course is a 9 hole course which is set in quiet country surroundings with beautiful views.

Alton St, Omakau. Phone 03 447 3368

Omakau Tennis Courts

Omakau Tennis Club on Racecourse Rd. Phone 03 447 3847

Omakau Bowling Green

Omakau Bowling Green, 14 Cobham Crescent. Phone 03 447 3759

Fishing at Manuherikia River

Manuherikia River runs beside Omaku township with easy access.

Central Otago A&P Show

Fantastic family day of fun and excitement. There are some great trade stalls, wine and food section on the Pinot Paddock, speed shearing, live music, and a few other surprises.

When: Saturday 10th February 2024

Secretary: Jennifer Mataitis Phone 0272299213 

Email / website 


Omakau Races

Interislander Summer Festival is a quintessential Kiwi day at the races - family picnics, jandals, deck chairs and chilly bins - it’s a classic summer’s day out. Combining top-notch racing action with local food, free kids entertainment and live music means there’s something for the whole family to enjoy.

Where: Omakau Racecourse

When: 2nd Jan 2024

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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