Marked by the heat of summer or cold, crisp winter days, Alexandra has four distinct seasons and is a unique place to visit at any time of the year. Born out of the goldrush era, the town’s history is on display at Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery (Centennial Avenue). Enjoy the township's many eateries, wineries, parks and artists' studios; in summer, a swim at the local council pool; and in winter, whirl around the ice-skating rink. Get out into the wide, open spaces by playing a round of golf, boating or swimming in the lake - or fishing for trout.
Lake Roxburgh Village
Lake Roxburgh Village is just five kilometres upstream from Roxburgh township, just below the impressive Roxburgh Hydro Dam. Once occupied by the dam's maintenance workers, the houses are now in private ownership. Remnants of the main hydro construction village - now the Lost Village - can be found on the eastern side of the river, accessed by foot from the Commissioner's Track. Accommodation, coffee and meals are available at the village's licensed lodge.
Built on the back of an 1862 gold discovery, and now with a permanent population of just over 500, Roxburgh—40 kilometres south of Alexandra on State Highway 8—is the Teviot Valley’s main township. Accessed from the Clutha Gold Trail by bridge, shops include a supermarket, pharmacy, gas station, and a number of excellent cafes, including the famed Jimmy’s Pie shop. The Roxburgh i-SITE Visitor Information Centre on Scotland Street has loads of ideas about where to stay and what to do and can book the Roxburgh Gorge jet boat transfer. The township has a vibrant pip and stone fruit export economy— a visit to one of the many local fruit stalls is an absolute must-do.
Named for Walter Miller, who from 1857 farmed the first great sheep station in the area, Millers Flat (pop. 200)—with its many fishing spots for brown trout and salmon—is located on the banks of the Clutha River. Trout fishing is also available at Lake Onslow, 18 kilometres from the township, via Tima Burn Road. Take advantage of the township’s solar-heated outdoor swimming pool (keys available from the holiday park), tennis courts, picnic area and playground, combined café/store, and across the bridge, country tavern.
A small junction-settlement 23 kilometres south of Millers Flat, Beaumont straddles the Clutha Mata-au River and State Highway 8. It’s a paradise for experiencing the area’s great outdoors: fishing, hunting, kayaking, jet boating, walking and biking. Annual events include an Easter Clutha River Fishing Competition, a Beaumont Hunting Competition, and bike (motorcycle) Rally. Remains of disused rail bridges can be seen from the Clutha Gold Trail.
Originally, ‘The Junction’, Lawrence—Otago’s first gold-rush town—was later renamed for Sir Henry Lawrence, famous defender of Lucknow during the 1857 Indian Mutiny. At the height of its gold fever, Lawrence’s population of 11,500 was double Dunedin’s; it was one of the largest communities in the country. Nestled in the rolling hills of Clutha Country, Lawrence is where the Clutha Gold Trail begins (travelling north) or ends (travelling south). With a range of dining options, it’s a great place to stop for coffee, lunch or dinner. A number of restored heritage accommodation options cater for all budgets and tastes. Shops include a small supermarket and a butcher.