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 along the trail, doing
as much or as little as you like. Get the most out of this trail by reading the information panels along the way, showcasing stories of its rich heritage and the adventurous souls who travelled this path before…… read more
Making a Contribution / Donation
We encourage all trail users to contribute to the maintenance and
on-going enhancements of the trail experience, helping ensure these
trails are available for future generations… read more
Roxburgh Gorge Trail – Discover another world
The Roxburgh Gorge trail offers another world - a wilderness
experience through the remote and stunning Roxburgh Gorge, and
alongside the mighty Clutha Mata-au River.
Take one of three journey options: cycle or walk from Alexandra to Doctors Point and then back again; start at Lake Roxburgh Dam and head upriver to Shingle Creek, and return; or experience the entire trail by enjoying a stunning jet boat journey between Doctors Point and Shingle Creek.
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 to cycle or
all day depending on how you choose to experience it… read more
Maps and Information
Check out the Roxburgh Gorge and Clutha Gold Trails' Map below - 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, Pinders Pond - set amongst mature trees and a rugged, sculptured landscape - is a Teviot Valley must-see.
Alexandra to Doctors Point – return
(20km cycle or walk)
Begin your journey by passing under the Alexandra Bridge and beside historic (1882) bridge piers. Here, where the Manuherikia and the Clutha Matau-au rivers meet, enter the Gorge and be amazed by the abrupt transition from an urban to remote landscape against the awe-inspiring gorge backdrop. Gaining height, the trail makes its way towards Butchers Creek and stone-walled water races, and other remnants of gold mining activity. Further on, Doctors Point is the half way mark. Stop for a rest and take in this impressive site before returning the way you came, and seeing the gorge from a whole new perspective.
Alexandra to Roxburgh Dam – the full trail
(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, where you will meet the jet boat (at a prearranged time) for a scenic trip down the Lake
to Shingle Creek. Here, re-join the trail to journey on to 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. After taking in stunning northerly vistas across the Lake, the trail heads away from the water passing 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. Pause for a rest before heading back the way you came.
Commissioner's Flat to Roxburgh
(9.4km cycle or walk)
This section follows alongside 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)
Journeying through pastoral farm land towards Millers Flat then on through the remote beauty of the Beaumont Gorge, this section meets 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 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, connecting with and 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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