Welcome to Lauder, Omakau & Ophir

Gold was discovered here in 1863 and the town swiftly formed, named after the biblical place where King Solomon sourced his gold. By 1875 the population had hit over 1000 but when the gold disappeared, so did the people. Ophir's fate was sealed when the railway bypassed it in 1904, leaving its main street trapped in time.

The most photogenic of Ophir's heritage buildings is the 1886 post office. At the far end of town, the road heads over the heritage-listed 1870s Dan O’Connell Bridge, a bumpy but scenic crossing that loops back to SH85.

Ophir lays claim to the country’s widest range of recorded temperatures: from -21.6°C to 35°C.

Top experiences in Lauder, Omakau & Ophir

Travel guides

Starting at $27.99

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Lauder, Omakau & Ophir activities

$2855.20 18-to-Thirtysomethings

New Zealand Encompassed

It dosen’t look so big on the map, but New Zealand is positively massive once you’re there in person. This comprehensive 24-day trip — our longest in this part of the world — delivers the most immersive NZ experience possible. Get close to the land by exploring glaciers, national parks, a sustainable farm, and meet the water up-close on expert-led kayak excursions and during surf lessons. Best of all, you’ll get to explore the magnificent Bay of Islands, home to some of the world’s top fishing. 24 days? You’ll wish it was longer.

$2479.20 18-to-Thirtysomethings

Best of New Zealand

Compared with their enormous neighbour to the left, the islands of New Zealand don’t look especially big on the map, but don’t let their small stature deceive you. There is much to do here, be it biking to old gold mining sites, cruising remote fjords, or taking in some of the world's most breathtaking views. But if you’re short on travel dollars, fear not; this trip squeezes in the very best of both the North and South Islands into an affordable, action-packed 21-day itinerary that moves swiftly without ever seeming rushed.

$1839.20 18-to-Thirtysomethings

New Zealand–South Island Encompassed

Looking to tackle a bundle of different environments all in one go? New Zealand’s South Island has what you need and then some. Action is the common thread throughout this trip that incorporates hiking, cycling, and even bungee jumping across a variety of landscapes, including rainforests, glaciers, and some of the most gorgeous coastline you’ll ever see. This trip is exciting even when you’re not moving; accommodations include a seasonal floating boat hostel and a wilderness hostel deep in the rainforest itself. Unique? You bet.

Lauder, Omakau & Ophir in detail