- (For the current top-level subdivision of Otago in New Zealand, see Otago)
The Otago Province was a province of New Zealand until the abolition of provincial government in 1876.
The capital of the province was Dunedin
. Southland Province
split from Otago in 1861, but became part of the province again in 1870.
New Zealand law provides an anniversary day for each province.
The Province built the Port Chalmers Branch
under the auspices of the Dunedin and Port Chalmers Railway Company Limited, and was built to the recently adopted national gauge
of 1067 mm (3 feet 6 inches), and it was the first line in the country with that gauge to open, on 1 January 1873. The first locomotive to run on the line was the E class Josephine
, a double Fairlie steam locomotive
, whose local popularity ensured she was retained beyond her retirement from service on the railways in 1917 and is preserved today in the Otago Settlers Museum
When the Southland province amalgamated with Otago in 1870, the latter acquired the former province's railways - which were built to the standard gauge of 1,435 mm (4 feet 8.5 inches).