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 will take you on a journey of discovery,
offering a unique heritage experience within diverse and stunning landscapes. Ride or walk alongside the powerful Clutha Mata-au
River, through a secluded valley and gorge and into lush green farmland. Open all year round, the 73km trail will take between two
to four days to complete. It is an easy grade trail that is full of variety,
from undulating to flat to meandering.
At your own pace – Grade 2 (easy)
You can begin your own journey at any point along the trail and do
as much or as little as you like. The four main villages along the way
are at Roxburgh, Millers Flat, Beaumont and Lawrence. There is no
need to rush to get the most out of this trail; stop to read the information panels along the way with stories that showcase the rich heritage and the adventurous souls who have 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 generations to come… read more
Roxburgh Gorge Trail – Discover another world
The Roxburgh Gorge trail is another world. It offers a wilderness
experience through the remote and stunning Roxburgh Gorge. The
beauty of this magnificent trail is that you can choose what you
want to experience, start to finish or just part of it.
Cycle or walk from Alexandra to Doctors Point and then back again, or
start from Lake Roxburgh Dam and head upriver to Shingle Creek and
return. Experiencing the whole trail, you will enjoy a leisurely boat transfer between Doctors Point and Shingle Creek. Sit back and become immersed
in the splendid isolation that is Roxburgh Gorge – another world.
Book your boat transfer
Be sure to book your boat transfer in advance before you begin
the trail. For information, including making a booking, transfer
times & 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 & Information
Check out the Roxburgh Gorge & Clutha Gold Trails Map below - you may cycle or walk these in any direction or section.
Big Tunnel Hill
Changing from one Trail to the other
To change from one Trail to the other you will need to cross the Roxburgh Dam as shown on the map. Take your time and watch for vehicles. Please note that there are 2 carparks on the Dam observation point road, the higher carpark is where the Roxburgh Gorge trail starts / ends. The lower carpark offers a fantastic view of the Dam & the Teviot Valley.
Jet Boat Transfer Required
To Experience the whole Roxburgh Gorge Trail, you will need to book a jet boat transfer between Doctors Point jetty
and Shingle Creek jetty. To book your boat transfer or for more information, including making a booking, transfer times and costs, please contact the i-Site on 03 262 7999.
Be sure to book your boat transfer in advance before you begin the trail.
Lake Roxburgh Village
Lake Roxburgh Village
Mrs Herons Cottage
Mrs Heron raised 7 children and ran a shop in this historical schist house. now right on the banks of the Clutha River.
Horseshoe Bend Bridge
The bridge was built to replace an old pulley chair that was then the only way for the children of Horseshoe Bend to cross the river to attend school.
Legend has it that near 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 was given for the unknown man to be buried. William Rigney died in 1912 and according to his instructions 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
Through sheer hard work and determination up to 100 men created a tunnel 22 chain 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 led to the Central Otago goldrush.
Pinders Pond is a popular picnic and safe swimming spot. Set amongst mature trees and the rugged sculptured landscape, this
is a must see in the Teviot Valley.
Alexandra to Doctors Point – return
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
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.
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.
Queenstown Airport 1hr
Dunedin Airport 1hr
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