At its peak, Ophir had numerous impressive buildings and many still remain today

Originally known as Blacks, after the Black brothers on whose farm gold was discovered in 1863, the decision was made in 1875 to rename the township Ophir, honouring the biblical land where the Queen of Sheba obtained gold for King Solomon. Ophir was never that rich, but for many years was the Manuherikia Valley’s main population centre, explaining substantial buildings like the village hall and the stone post office built in 1886 and now owned by the Historic Places Trust. When gold became scarce and Ophir was bypassed by the Otago Central Rail Trail, Ophir’s population dwindled leaving behind plenty for today’s visitor to see. 



Population: 48

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Blacks Hotel

Tagged as: Hotel, Historic

We are just 2 km from Omakau on a sealed road and a welcome sight after a long bike ride. Built in 1937 the Art Deco outside has been kept and where possible retained in the alteration inside.


6 Queen & 5 twin en-suited rooms
$125 a couple or twin share
$95 single occupancy

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The Bakery Cottages

Tagged as: Self - Contained, Historic

Charming schist cottages nestled within the historic village of Ophir. Tastefully restored, shabby chic and vintage, with modern amenities. We invite you to relax and unwind.


$150 per room ( single rate on request)

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Blacks Hotel

Built in 1937 in an Art Deco style,its enclosed courtyard is as popular today as it was then. Very happy to accommodate thirsty or hungry cyclists. Ph: 03 447 3826

Pitches Store

This beautifully restored building is well worth a visit. Six years of restoration has resulted in a stunning interior with attention to detail throughout the building. The 2.5km detour is well worth the pedal. Delightful dining experience. Sit-down meals or scrumptious treats and lunches. Ph: 03 447 3240.

Daniel O’Connell Bridge (1880)

This 1880 bridge which crosses the Manuherikia River is a focal point in Ophir and is very popular for photography.

Historic Buildings in Ophir

Get a leaflet called 'Walk Around Historic OPHIR' at Post Office, it shows all historic buildings in Ophir town.

  • Post Office: Built in 1886. Open 9 - 12 weekdays and selling souvenir postmarked postcards.
  • The Courthouse: Built in 1884.
  • The Policeman’s House: Built in the 1870’s.
  • The Bank: Built in 1886.
  • The Bakery: Built in the 1880s 
  • Union Church: Built in 1870.

Historic Prison Cells

This jail has stood for over 100 years with only two cells inside. Located behinde the Post Office.

Ophir Peace Memorial Hall

This historic hall was built in 1926 and is still used often for community events and functions.

Antique Shop ( The Barn )

When you are in Ophir have a look inside this amazing little antique shop and you may just find yourself a bargain. 

Open most weekends over summer and autumn.

Manuherikia River

The Manuherikia River runs past Ophir. Visit this river for gold panning, for a picnic, or fish for trout.


Ophir is well known for its temperature. It is the home of New Zealand’s coldest winter with a record of -21C. Ophir also endures the typical long, hot Central Otago summer. Take some photos of the heavy frost, frozen bodies of water, and snow in the winter… Or of the burnt grass and beautiful rural scenery in the summer.

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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