Clutha Gold & Roxburgh Gorge

Two of NZ's Great Rides

FAQS - for 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.


How much riding should I aim for in 1 day?

ANSWER: Expert riders have cycled the trail in one day while others have taken 2 to 5 days it is your choice-leisurely or race. 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 5 villages along the trail with food services.
Lake Roxburgh Village at Dam across Clutha Mata-au river – towns
of Roxburgh – Millers Flat – Beaumont and Lawrence.


Do we start at Lawrence or Roxburgh ends?

ANSWER: Either end is fine as trail has very little variations. Big Hill tunnel has a approach climb both ways. Dunedin International airport
is 1 hour to closest trail town of Lawrence – Queenstown International airport is 1.5 hours to closest trail town of Roxburgh. Many local
cyclists join the trail at the mid towns of Millers Flat or Beaumont
for short 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. Carry on to Lake Roxburgh Dam. A 10km mid-section has no trail. Boat transfer only and must be pre-booked. Cross the Dam to the Clutha Gold Trail on the true left of the river and on to Lawrence.


Is drinking water available along the trail?

ANSWER:  Potable water is available from a trail tap near Millers Flat sign kiosk, otherwise you are best to buy water at any of the village shops.


How far apart are toilets?

ANSWER:  They are approx 10km apart.


What history is the trail based on?

ANSWER:  Maori were first to travel from coast to inland lakes then European pastoralists followed by  gold seekers 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. Sections are on the disused rail corridor and Big Hill rail tunnel (440m).


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

ANSWER:  SPRING can be fine with early flowers and some showers SUMMER is hot and dry with fresh summer fruits 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. Winter temperature’s range from -2c to +15c.


What are weather conditions like?

ANSWER: Winds are not seen as a problem as the trail is in sheltered valleys or along river banks. Most of the trail is less than 100m above sea level. The highest point on the trail is Big Hill tunnel which is still less than 200m above sea level.


Where can bikes and gear be hired?

ANSWER: Dunedin, Lawrence or Roxburgh and Alexandra, Clyde or Omakau.


Where does the Roxburgh Gorge Trail run from and to ?

ANSWER: The 33km trail follows along the true right (west side) of
the Clutha Mata-au river which is known as Lake Roxburgh from Alexandra to the hydro-electric dam at Lake Roxburgh Village…. Alexandra to Doctors Point jetty and toilet 10km……45mins approx
Jet Boat transfer from Doctors Point Jetty to Shingle Creek jetty (includes several stops to relate and view points of area history)……Shingle Creek jetty and toilet to Lake Roxburgh Dam 12km (then cycle across dam to CLUTHA GOLD TRAIL)


Does the jet boat transfer require pre booking ?

ANSWER: Yes it is essential to make bookings. They can be made at

• Alexandra I-SITE (03) 4489 515 or

• Roxburgh Info Centre (03) 4468 920

• Lawrence Info Centre (03) 4859 222


Will there be shade near the jetty’s while waiting for the boat?

ANSWER: Adequate shade is available at Shingle Creek and not much
at Doctors Point. In mid-summer heat carry a light shirt with sleeves
or use plenty of sunscreen. Useful also while on the approx 45min
boat trip


Should I allow extra time if going to boat pickup?

ANSWER: probably allow double your normal time estimate so as
you can have spare time to be ahead of boat.


Will Gorge Trail be 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 2 sections should take 1 or 2 hours depending
on fitness plus the 45min boat transfer ie.around 5 to 6 hours total


What standard is the trail?

ANSWER: Built to a similar high standard as the 2 connecting trails Otago Central Rail Trail and the Clutha Gold Trail. Classed as NZCT Grade 2-3. Reasonable fitness is required through this rugged and isolated gorge. All your food and water must be taken in by yourself
as none is available on route. Stock up at Alexandra or Roxburgh.

FAQS - for Roxburgh Gorge Trail

©  Clutha Gold & Roxburgh Gorege Trails - New Zealand  - Website by B DESIGN