Firefighters are working to put out a blaze at one of the country's oldest hotels.

Fire and Emergency NZ said it was called to the incident at Ancient Briton Hotel, in Naseby in central Otago, about 1am.

The fire has caused extensive damage to the back of the building and smoke and water damage to the rest of it, authorities said.

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There were no reported injuries and the cause of the fire is not yet clear.

The hotel was first established in 1863 to service the town's bustling gold trade.

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