The Danseys pass Inn



Danseys Pass is 2000ft above sea level and the region boasts the most consistent weather and the second highest sunshine count in New Zealand. Hot, dry summers are followed by the long dry shadows and subtle tones of autumn with cold, dry winters and snow, contrasting block mountain structures that rise sharply from expansive plains.

When Maori first moved through the Maniototo flowing red tussocks covered the valleys and hillsides.  En route to the West Coast in their search for Pounamu (NZ Greenstone or Jade) the name Maniototo or ‘Plains of Blood’ was given by Maori.  Massive fires have long destroyed most of the tussocks but the name remains.

Discovery of gold opened up the Maniototo and throughout this vast landscape and scarred hillsides you will discover mud brick buildings and old coaching inns, stone buildings, fences and cemeteries – all remnants of a once prosperous bygone era.  Initially, Naseby was the main ‘centre’ of the Maniototo with banks, council buildings and most essential services starting here as the population grew when the search for gold became a hunger.  Some 30 years later the railway came through from Dunedin and a post office and ‘coach stop’ at the Naseby turn-off (then named Eweburn) was relocated to the current site of Ranfurly.  This was deemed a more ‘central’ site and, over time, the main service buildings were brought from Naseby to Ranfurly.

The Maniototo’s wide open spaces are full of trails and tales, there are discoveries to be made. Immerse yourself in rich history, explore the land, linger a bit and get to know the locals. Recreational opportunities abound in the Maniototo. Curling, golfing, forest walks, fishing, tennis and swimming are just some of the options. The Otago Central Rail Trail can be walked, biked or leave civilisation behind on the back of a horse. Take off in a 4WD vehicle and explore spectacular, rugged tussock-lands. So much to do – be sure to book extra time during your stay to make the most of your time in the Maniototo.