CYCLING & WALKING TRAILS CENTRAL OTAGO NZ
FOOD & DRINK
Clutha Gold & Roxburgh Gorge
Two of NZ's Great Rides
Commissioner Flat to Roxburgh – (9.4km)
This part of the trail takes you alongside the mighty Clutha Mata-au River – its distinctive turquoise colour, constant flow and ever changing moods become interwoven with your experience. Look out for signs of the original search for gold and imagine what the hardy settlers faced in the early days. As you travel downstream you cannot miss the orchards on both sides of the valley creating a splash of colour at every season.
Roxburgh to Millers Flat – (19.6km)
Meander along the riverside and enjoy a break in your journey at Pinders Pond, 5km beyond Roxburgh. There are many things to look out for along this part of the trail, including stunning rock formations both on the hillsides and in the river, and the largest stand of regenerating native Ka-nuka (tea tree).
Millers Flat to Beaumont – (24.7km)
This section of the trail takes you from the pastoral farm land and orchards around Millers Flat through the remoteness of the Beaumont Gorge before re-emerging beside the main highway at the Beaumont Bridge. Visit the historic Horseshoe Bend Bridge, and for an added story take a short detour from the Horseshoe Bend Bridge car park
up the road to the site of the Lonely Graves.
Beaumont to Lawrence – (19.4km)
From Beaumont you start the climb towards the highest point of the trail and through the Big Hill Tunnel. After the tunnel you descend into lush green farmland connecting with and crossing the highway several times. There are many reminders of the area’s history along the route, including the discovery of gold, milling of flax fibre for rope making around Evans Flat and the arrival of the Chinese prospectors to the goldfields.
Helpful tips - keeping safe:
• Open year-round, the trail is suitable for all ages.
• Ride or walk at your own risk.
• Keep left and consider other users; cyclists give way to walkers.
• Be aware of falling branches in high winds.
• Swimming in the Clutha Mata-au River is not recommended;
it is dangerous.
• The trail crosses the highway at several points; take care at all times.
• Be aware that river levels can change without warning.
• Use the trail only during daylight hours.
• Cell phone coverage is limited.
• Keep to the trail.
• Respect neighbouring farms and orchards; owners generously
provided easements over their land.
• Be vigilant during lambing (Aug – Oct); if gates are across the trail,
leave them as you find them.
• Take all rubbish with you.
• Public toilets are located at Lake Roxburgh Village, Roxburgh,
Pinders Pond, Millers Flat, Little Minzion Burn, Beaumont,
Big Hill Rail Tunnel and Lawrence.
• Stock may be encountered on or near the trail.
• Gunshots may be heard during duck and upland game hunting
seasons (May to August inclusive).
• Other than e-bikes, motorised transport is not allowed on the trail.
Alexandra to Doctors Point – return (20km cycle/walk)
This part of the trail begins in Alexandra, passing under the Alexandra Bridge and beside the historic bridge piers. The Manuherikia River
joins the Clutha and you enter into the Gorge within 1km of the track start. Be amazed by the quick transition from urban to remote and the awe-inspiring gorge setting. The trail gains height as it makes its way towards Butchers Creek (4.1km) where you will see stone walled water races and signs of the gold mining days. Doctors Point is the half way mark, stop for a rest and take in this impressive site. Then head back the way you came and see the gorge from a new perspective.
Alexandra to Roxburgh Dam – the full trail (10km cycle / walk, 13km boat cruise, 11km cycle / walk)
Beginning in Alexandra, ride or walk alongside the Clutha Mata-au
River as it transitions to Lake Roxburgh. The trail stops beside the
boat jetty at Doctors Point, and this is where you will meet the boat
at a prearranged time for a relaxing transfer down the Lake to Shingle Creek. At Shingle Creek you will re-join the trail finishing at Lake Roxburgh Dam.
Roxburgh to Shingle Creek- return (22km cycle/walk)
From the Roxburgh Dam lookout the trail almost instantly takes you away from urban life and into the rugged, isolated landscape, allowing you to take in the stunning vistas up the Lake. The trail then heads away from the Lake and passes through a small secluded valley and regenerating Ka-nuka (Tea tree) scrubland. Then you will travel into
a rural farm setting. Once you reach Elbow Creek you can enjoy a gradual descent to Shingle Creek. Shingle Creek is your half way mark, stop for a rest at this peaceful spot and then head back the way you came to see the stunning landscape from a new perspective.
Be prepared…for a wonderful experience
• Clothing – wear layers of clothing as the climate can be changeable
at any time of year.
• Sun protection – it’s sensible to wear sunscreen at any time of year,
particularly in the very hot summer months.
• Bicycle – a mountain bike is best. Always wear a helmet and take
tools and a puncture repair kit.
• Water – take plenty with you.
• Food and refreshments – take food for snacks and lunch. Once you
leave Alexandra there is no access to food or drink along the trail.
• Medical – take a first aid kit with you.
• Comfort stops – there are toilets available in Alexandra and
Roxburgh, at the beginning and end of the trail, and at Doctors Point
and Shingle Creek.
Book your boat connection
Be sure to book your boat trip in advance before beginning your trail journey. For more information, including making a booking, transfer times and costs, please contact Alexandra i-SITE on +64 3 448 9515 or the Roxburgh i-SITE +64 3446 8920
Boat connections are provided by:
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