CYCLING & WALKING TRAILS CENTRAL OTAGO NZ
FOOD & DRINK
Clutha Gold & Roxburgh Gorge
Two of NZ's Great Rides
Clutha Gold Trail – A journey of discovery
The Clutha Gold Trail takes you on a journey of discovery
within a landscape of outstanding natural beauty. Ride or walk
alongside the powerful Clutha Mata-au River through a fertile valley,
secluded gorge and into lush green farmland.
Open all year round, this 73 kilometre easy-grade trail passes through
four settlements along the way - Roxburgh, Millers Flat, Beaumont and
Lawrence - and can take between two and four days to complete.
Full of variety, the terrain is undulating, flat and meandering.
At your own pace – Grade 2 (easy)
Begin your journey at any point, doing
as much or as little as you like, in either direction! Information panels along the way showcase a rich heritage and
the adventurers who travelled this way before... read more
Making a Contribution / Donation
It is our vision that all trail users will contribute to maintenance and
on-going enhancements of the trail, helping ensure this experience
is available for future generations… read more
Roxburgh Gorge Trail – Discover another world
The Roxburgh Gorge trail offers a wilderness
experience through the remote and stunning Roxburgh Gorge alongside the mighty Clutha Mata-au River.
Choose one of three journey options: experience the entire trail from Alexandra to Lake Roxburgh Hydro Dam by incorporating a stunning jet boat journey linking Doctors Point and Shingle Creek; cycle or walk from Alexandra downriver to Doctors Point and back again; or start at Lake Roxburgh Dam and head upriver to Shingle Creek, and return.
Become immersed in the splendid isolation that is
Roxburgh Gorge – another world.
Book your boat trip - essential
Be sure to book your jet boat ride before starting out.
For information, including making a booking, transfer
times and costs click here
Grade 2-3 (intermediate)
Open all year round, the trail is a well-formed 2.5 metre-wide gravel
surface with some climbs. It will take up to four or five hours, or
longer depending which journey option you choose… read more
Your Opinion Helps!
We are keen to ensure our cycle trails give you the best experience possible and we’d love to hear
about your recent ride and know about your recent experience.
Please click on the links below and fill out our simple and quick on-line survey:
Maps and Route Information
Cycle or walk any section, in any direction.
Big Tunnel Hill
Changing from one Trail to the other
It's as simple as crossing the Roxburgh Hydro Dam. Take your time and watch for vehicles. Please note the two carparks on Dam Observation Point road; the higher carpark is where the Roxburgh Gorge trail starts (or ends). The lower carpark offers a fantastic view of the dam and the Teviot Valley to the south.
Jet Boat Booking Required
Be sure to book the jet boat before beginning your trail journey. To make a booking or for more information, including available transfer times and costs, please contact the Roxburgh i-Site and Visitor Centre on 03 262 7999.
Lake Roxburgh Village
Lake Roxburgh Village
Mrs Heron's Cottage
Mrs Heron raised seven children and ran a shop in this historic schist house.
Horseshoe Bend Bridge
The bridge was built to replace an old pulley chair that at the time was the only way for children of Horseshoe Bend to cross the river to attend school.
Legend has it that towards the end of 1865, William Rigney, an Irish miner at Horseshoe Bend gold diggings, came across the body
of a young good-looking man. The police were called and permission given for the unknown man to be buried. William Rigney died in 1912 and in accordance with his wishes, was buried alongside the unknown man. His headstone reads, "Here lies the body of William Rigney, the man who buried Somebody's Darling".
Big Tunnel Hill
Sheer hard work and determination saw up to 100 men form a tunnel 22 chains or 434 metres in length. Rumour has it that gold was found in the quartz.
The discovery of gold at Gabriel's Gully by Gabriel Read in May 1861 was the start of the Central Otago goldrush.
A popular picnic and safe swimming spot set amongst mature trees and a rugged, sculptured landscape, Pinders Pond is a Teviot Valley must-see.
Alexandra to Doctors Point – return
(20km cycle or walk)
Pass under the Alexandra Bridge and beside historic (1882) bridge piers. Then, at the confluence of the Manuherikia and Clutha Matau-au rivers, enter the Roxburgh Gorge. Be amazed by the abrupt transition from urban to remote landscape against the awe-inspiring backdrop. Gaining height, the trail makes its way towards Butchers Creek, stone-walled water races, and other remnants of gold mining activity. Further on, Doctors Point is the halfway mark. Stop for a rest at this impressive former gold mining site before heading back to Alexandra the way you came.
The full trail: Alexandra to Roxburgh Dam
(10km cycle or walk, 13km boat cruise, 11km cycle or walk)
Beginning in Alexandra, ride or walk alongside the Clutha Mata-au
River as it transitions to Lake Roxburgh. The trail stops beside the
jetty at Doctors Point to meet the jet boat for an exciting and scenic trip down the Lake to Shingle Creek. Re-join the trail and journey on to complete the trail at Lake Roxburgh Hydro Dam.
Roxburgh Hydro Dam to Shingle Creek - return
(22km cycle or walk)
From the Roxburgh Dam lookout, the trail takes travellers into a rugged and isolated landscape with stunning northerly vistas across the Lake Roxburgh. Then, heading away from the water, the trail passes through a small secluded valley with regenerating Ka-nuka (tea tree) scrubland and into sweeping hill country farmland. At Elbow Creek, enjoy a gradual descent to Shingle Creek, the halfway mark. Rest up before returning to the hydro dam.
Commissioner's Flat to Roxburgh
(9.4km cycle or walk)
This section follows the banks of the mighty Clutha Mata-au River with its distinctive turquoise water, fast flow and ever changing eddies. Look out for signs of the 1880s' goldrush and imagine the conditions hardy settlers faced. Travelling downstream, carpets of orchards on both sides of the valley cut a swathe of colour whatever the season.
Roxburgh to Millers Flat
(19.6km cycle or walk)
Meander along the riverside, keeping an eye out for stunnng hillside rock formations and large stands of regenerating native Ka-nuka (tea tree). Five kilometres beyond Roxburgh, enjoy a break - and a swim - at Pinders Pond.
Millers Flat to Beaumont
(24.7km cycle or ride)
Journey on through pastoral farm land towards the tiny settlement of Millers Flat then through the remote and beautiful Beaumont Gorge, meeting up with the State Highway 8 at the Beaumont Bridge. On the way, visit the historic Horseshoe Bend suspension bridge, and for added intrigue, a short detour from the bridge car park reveals the site of the famed Lonely Graves.
Beaumont to Lawrence
(19.4km cycle or walk)
From Beaumont, the trail begins its climb towards the highest point of the trail and on through Big Hill Tunnel. Beyond the tunnel descend into lush green farmland, crossing the highway several times. Along the way, see reminders of the area’s history: the discovery of gold, the milling of flax fibre for rope making (Evans Flat) and the arrival of Chinese prospectors to the goldfields (approaching Lawrence).
Queenstown Airport 1hr
Dunedin Airport 1hr
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