The township of Oturehua is in the Ida Valley of the Maniototo, in Central Otago, in the South Island of New Zealand.
Known as Rough Ridge until 1907, the settlement stands at 500 metres above sea level, some 25 kilometres from Ranfurly, to which it is connected by both road and the Otago Central Rail Trail long-distance walking track.
Oturehua lies beneath a Rough Ridge, a range of hills bearing the same name formerly given to Oturehua. The area has changed little from its description in 1905 when it was described as good arable land, from which large crops are successfully raised. In 1905, the township comprised a post and telegraph office, a store, a hotel near the railway station, a school, coal pits and a flour mill. Of these, only the Gilchrist's General Store and the Oturehua Tavern remain.
Hayes Engineering Works, located immediately southwest of the township, was once the home to Ernest Hayes, a farmer and flour miller who began producing and selling farm tools from his Oturehua property. Hayes invented the internationally acclaimed wire strainer, as well as pulley blocks, cattle stops and windmills.
The Idaburn Dam, located 3 km southwest of Oturehua along the Ida Valley Omakau Road is used (conditions permitting) for curling bonspiels. It is also the site of the annual mid-winter Brass Monkey Motorcycle Rally.
The Otago Central Rail Trail runs through Oturehua, adjacent the Ida Valley Omakau Road. Oturehua offers numerous accommodation options for trail riders.
Gold Mining Heritage
Located 2 km east of Oturehua on Rough Ridge are the remnants of the Golden Progress quartz mine. These workings are notable as they still retain an intact poppet head, the only surviving one in the Otago goldfields. The Golden Progress poppet head was constructed of Australian hardwood and erected later than most, in 1928, which explains its survival. The Golden Progress mine was worked by three lignite-fired boilers, two for the poppet head to drive the winding gear and one to drive the battery further down the gully.
- Hall-Jones, J. Goldfields of Otago: An Illustrated History, Craig Printing Co. Ltd, Invercargill, New Zealand, 2005. pp 180. ISBN 0-908629-61-3
- The Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Volume 4. Otago and Southland Provincial Districts. Published 1905, pp 1114