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Welcome to Tapanui West Otago

Tapanui is located on State Highway 90 in West Otago on the South Island of New Zealand. It is 38km from Gore (approximately 25minutes drive), at the base of the Blue Mountains and en route to Alexandra. The Tapanui township is home to 900 people and is surrounded by rolling green hills, farmland, forest and mountains.

Town folk are renowned for their friendliness and will make you feel welcome. There is a variety of accommodation availabile from the Forest Lodge Motel to bed and breakfasts, in town or nearby, plus camping grounds offering cabins, motorhomes  and a place to pitch a tent.  Dine at the pub, Robin & Co bistro, Top Nosh Cafe or grab a take away from On The Spot convenience store. There's a 4 Square supermarket and butcher for those who prefer to cook their own. 


Tapanui West Otago is the ultimate place to visit for a rural Kiwi experience. Relax and unwind with a round of golf on our country golf course, for the more intrepid visitor you might like to hike the Blue Mountains track spanning from Whisky Gully to Black Gully, meander the rainforest and waterfalls, hunt, fish, visit Blue Mountain Nurseries famous for their Rhododendrons or step back in time at the Vintage Machinery Museum. There are also a number of local gift stores to check out where you can buy everything from homewares to souvenirs.

Only 1½ hours from Dunedin International Airport and 2½ hours from Queenstown International Airport, Tapanui is ideally situated for taking day trips to the southern scenic attractions including The Catlins, The South Coast, Fiordland, The Lakes District and Central Otago.

Enjoy the peace and beauty of West Otago.

Everything you need...

Set of Pete's Dragon Movie

New Zealand provided many of the spectacular backdrops for the remake of the classic Disney movie, Pete's Dragon. The town of Tapanui became Millhaven for the 2016 movie.

Many West Otago locals were cast as extras in the film, while others moved out of their homes to allow the cast and crew close access to the set.

Today, local stores feature photos in their shop window displays so that visitors may see how each shop looked in the movie.

From Clutha District Council

Finding Tapanui