Clutha Gold & Roxburgh Gorge

Two of NZ's Great Rides

FAQS - Clutha Gold Trail

How long will it take to cycle the 73km from Lake Roxburgh Dam
to Lawrence?

ANSWER: Allow approximately 1 hour per 10 km. This will allow time for photo shoots, snacks, chats, seat adjustments, etc.


How much riding should I aim for in one day?

ANSWER: Expert riders have cycled the trail in one day while others have taken 2 to 5 days.  The trail surface is good and firm allowing easy riding. Gradients are minimal with only a few switchbacks for changes in level.


Where can I get food and a coffee ?

ANSWER: There are five villages along the trail with food services:
Lake Roxburgh Village, Roxburgh, Millers Flat, Beaumont and Lawrence.  Supermarkets are located in Roxburgh and Lawrence.

Do we start at Lawrence or the Roxburgh Hydro Dam?

ANSWER: Either!  Dunedin International airport is one hour from Lawrence; Queenstown International airport is 1.5 hours from Lake Roxburgh Village and Roxburgh.  Many local cyclists join the trail at the mid-towns of Millers Flat or Beaumont for shorter rides.


Some riders cycle from Clyde to Lawrence - how is that done?

ANSWER:  From Clyde, cycle on the true right of the Clutha Mata-au river to Alexandra bridge. Cycle under the bridge on to the Roxburgh Gorge Trail (still on the true right of the river).  A 13 kilometre mid-section has no trail, where it's pre-booked boat transfer only, before re-joining the trail and cycling on to the Roxburgh Hydro Dam. Cross the dam to join the Clutha Gold Trail on the true left of the river, and on to Lawrence.


Is drinking water available along the trail?

ANSWER:  Purchase water at any of the village shops, although potable water is available from a trail tap near the Millers Flat sign kiosk.


How far apart are toilets?

ANSWER:  Approximately 10 kilometres apart.


What is the trail's heritage?

ANSWER:  Maori were the first to travel from coast to inland lakes, then European pastoralists, followed by  gold prospectors of European and Chinese descent. The railway came to Roxburgh from Lawrence by 1928 but closed in 1968. The trail follows the Clutha Mata-au river
for 50km. Some sections are on the disused rail corridor and one incorporates Big Hill rail tunnel (440m).


When is the best time of year to experience Clutha Gold?

ANSWER:  Anytime!  SPRING can be fine with early blossom and some showers | SUMMER is hot and dry with fresh summer fruit at orchard stalls | AUTUMN is warm and dry with orange and gold leaf colours, and apples and pears at orchard stalls | WINTER is peaceful, quiet and cold - rug up and enjoy.


What are the trail's elevations?

ANSWER: Most of the trail is less than 100 metres above sea level. The highest point on the trail is Big Hill tunnel which is still less than 200 metres above sea level.


Where can bikes and gear be hired?

ANSWER: Lawrence, Roxburgh, Alexandra and Clyde.


Where does the Roxburgh Gorge Trail run from and to ?

ANSWER: The 33 kilometre trail follows the true right (west side) of the Clutha Mata-au river from Alexandra to the hydro-electric dam at Lake Roxburgh Village.


Does the jet boat transfer between Doctors Point and Shingle Creek need to be pre-booked?

ANSWER: Yes, it is essential to make bookings. Make them at

• Alexandra i-SITE (03) 448 9515 or

• Roxburgh i-SITE (03) 446 8920

• Lawrence Info Centre (03) 4859 222


Is there shade near the jetties while waiting for the boat?

ANSWER: Adequate shade is available at Shingle Creek while there is a little at Doctors Point. Carry a light shirt with sleeves, a sun hat and use plenty of sunscreen (also useful during the approximately 45min boat trip).


Should I allow extra time to meet the boat?

ANSWER:  Allow double the normal time estimate to arrive well ahead of the boat.


Is the Roxburgh Gorge Trail open all year?

ANSWER: Yes, including the boat transfer by Beaumont Cycle Jet.


How long will it take to cycle the trail?

ANSWER: Each of the two sections should take one to two hours, depending on fitness, and allow around 45 minutes for the boat transfer.  So, that's around five to six hours total.


What standard is the trail?

ANSWER: Built to the same high standard as the connecting Clutha Gold Trail, and classed as New Zealand Cycle Trail Grade 2 to 3. Reasonable fitness is required through this rugged and isolated gorge - some of the climbs are steep but all are walkable.


What about food and drink availability?

Carry all food and water/drinks as none is availabe on the trail.  Stock up at Alexandra or Roxburgh.

FAQS - Roxburgh Gorge Trail

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