Otago's main city, Dunedin, was also once New Zealand's largest.
The influence of its Scottish founders can be seen in its distinctive gothic revival architecture and in street and suburb names - which are shared with those in Edinburgh, on the other side of the world; in fact Dunedin was the old name for Edinburgh.
It's a creative city, thanks in part to the University of Otago, which is the country's oldest, and gives the city a youthful buzz. The Octagon, the city's central plaza, includes the impressive St Paul's Cathedral and Dunedin Public Art Gallery, which houses a collection of art spanning the centuries by local and international artists.
Outside the city you'll find a beautiful and varied coastline with good surf and swimming beaches, as well as swathes of open countryside.