The Art Deco town of Ranfurly, a popular stop on the Otago Central Rail Trail,  was established in 1898 as a railhead for the Central Otago railway line.

Ranfurly lies in the dry rough Maniototo plain at a moderately high altitude close to a small tributary of the Taieri River.

The neighbouring gold rush town of Naseby was the main centre of the Maniototo when Ranfurly was established. But the railway bypassed Naseby. So, Ranfurly gradually took over as the administrative and economic centre of the district.

In the early 1930s Ranfurly’s increased status, and several suspicious building fires, created a demand for a large number of new buildings.

Art Deco was the architectural style of the time. Before too long Ranfurly was smartly outfitted with jazz-age buildings. And the trend wasn’t short-lived. Art Deco houses continued to be build long after the fashion had faded.

Today Ranfurly is a service town for the local farming community and tourist centre.