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Alexandra is known as the hottest, driest and coldest town in New Zealand, and it is because of those extremes that Alexandra, in Central Otago, is a popular destination for national and international visitors. Whether it be during the heat of summer or the cold, crisp winter days, Alexandra has four distinct seasons and is a unique place to visit at any time of the year. Born in the goldrush era, there are many examples of the town’s history on display at Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery. Visitors can enjoy the many eateries, wineries, parks, artist’s studios the golf course, swimming pool and many other sports facilities Alexandra has on offer. And if you enjoy getting out into the wide, open spaces, there are many opportunities for recreation including boating, swimming, fishing or exploring the hills and valleys by foot, mountainbike or four-wheel drive. Several Public Toilets are in the town.
Accommodation, Food & Drink
Fruitlands is not only historically significant, but also exceptionally picturesque and one of Central Otago’s most photographed places during winter frosts and snows. Originally known as Bald Hill Flat, it gained its current name in the early 1900s when an attempt was made to establish orchards there. Only one crop of fruit was ever exported and although irrigation was available, the hard winter frosts destroyed most of the trees. Fruitlands has one of the best surviving examples of quality stonemasonry. Mitchells Cottage on Symes Road is a sturdy cottage built of locally quarried stone by Andrew Mitchell. The stone masonry techniques were those he had learned from his father in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. Started in the 1880s, the cottage wasn’t completed until 1904. Ten children were raised in the stone cottage, which is restored in the style of the early 20th century. There is accomodation, coffee and meals provided at the
local licensed historic Inn.
Accommodation, Food & Drink
Lake Roxburgh Village
Lake Roxburgh is a lake, created by the Roxburgh Hydro Electric Dam, one of the earliest built in the South Island of New Zealand. It lies on the Clutha River, some 160 kilometres from Dunedin. It covers an area of some 6 km², and extends for nearly 30 kilometres towards the town of Alexandra. Lake Roxburgh Village started life as part of the Dam constuction scene of management. Now all houses are in private ownership. There is accommodation, coffee and meals provided at the licensed Lodge in the Village.
Early European settlers started arriving in this district in the late 1850s. When gold was discovered by Andrew Young and James Woodhouse in 1862, the pair unwittingly triggered the beginnings of what would become the township of Roxburgh, now home to more than 600 residents. Discover more by crossing over the Clutha River bridge from the Trail into the township, visit the Roxburgh Visitor Centre on Scotland Street to find out the local ‘Must Do’s’ in the area or take time just to stop for refreshments at the several cafes and hotels. A full range of retail shops are available to visit. Roxburgh has a vibrant export summerfruit growing industry with many fruit stalls in the region. Apricots, Cherries, Peaches, Nectarines, Strawberries, Apples and Pears and a new crop now grown here are Blueberries There is a Fire Service, St John Ambulance, Doctor, Medical Centre and Rest Home. Educational facilities are at the Roxburgh Area School and there are also several pre-school options available The historic Roxburgh Museum is built from stacked schist stone and worth a visit. Roxburgh’s Entertainment
Centre has regularly shown films for over a century. Sport facilities comprise a Sports Ground, Golf Course, Squash Court and a Horse Trotting Track which
holds its Annual Race Meeting in early January. A Grass Airfield services the
local topdressing industry. Public toilets are located in the main town centre on Scotland St.
Ettrick is well known as a premium apple growing district. It was one of the first places in New Zealand where settlers grew apples. It is home to several registered fruit pack houses, cool stores, a cardboard fruitbox making factory and also a certified organic fruit pack house. Sheep and beef farming predominates on the surrounding hills with a large new dairy farm on the Clutha River flats. The local tearooms, shop and post centre provide a range of convenience foods. Roadside fruit stalls abound. Nearest accommodation is at Roxburgh or Millers Flat.
Millers Flat was named after Walter Miller, who farmed the first great sheep station in the area “Oven Hill” from 1857. He established the first European ferry crossing just upstream. Millers Flat is located on the banks of the Clutha River in the south of the picturesque Teviot Valley and has many fishing spots for brown trout and salmon. Trout fishing is also at Lake Onslow a high country hydro electric storage lake. Access to the lake, 18km from Millers Flat is via Tima Burn Road. Sheep and beef farming is the main industry with some summerfruit orchards and fruit stalls on the river flats. Central Otagos largest commercial pumpkin grower is based here. Millers Flat has many sports facilities next to the local Holiday Park, a popular heated swimming pool, also tennis courts, bowling green, rugby sports fields, a national circuit rodeo ring and yards. Playgrounds, picnic area’s, library, school and churches complete the local scene. A community owned grocery store is open 7 days and across the Clutha River bridge is the Bridge Hotel and State Highway 8. Down river from Millers Flat is the Beaumont Gorge where are The Historic Lonely Graves, Horseshoe Bend Suspension Bridge and Walkway all adjacent to the Clutha Gold Trail and gravel road from Millers Flat to Beaumont. There is a Fire Service based at Millers Flat. Public Toilets are on the main street and Trail toilets are just south of The Lonely Graves.
Beaumont is a small junction town which straddles the Clutha River and State Highway 8. From 1914, Beaumont served as the terminus for 11 years of the Roxburgh Branch railway line that ran from the Main South Line at Milton beside State Highway 1. This line ultimately operated until 1968. Sections of the railway still remain, including a bridge over the Beaumont River (Andy’s Creek) used by the Clutha Gold Trail. Towards Lawrence the Trail follows through the disused Big Hill Rail Tunnel (434 metres). Remains of disused rail bridges can be seen from the Trail between Millers Flat and Beaumont and on to Lawrence. The Trail at times uses sections of the old rail corridor. Tourist operators Beaumont Hotel and Beaumont Jet are on the true right of the Clutha River across the Clutha River Bridge from the Trail. Toilets are beside the local swimming pool and private toilets are inside the Hotel (Permission to use must first be obtained). Trail toilets are also at the Big Hill Tunnel.
Lawrence was Otago’s first gold-rush town, in the Tuapeka District, it was originally named The Junction, and then later renamed after the British war hero who defended Lucknow during the 1857 Indian Mutiny. At the height of the gold fever, it’s population was 11,500; double that of Dunedin, making it one of the largest communities in the country. It is hard to believe that now, with a current population of only 417. Situated 92km or just over an hour by car south-west of Dunedin on State Highway 8, nestled in the rolling hills of Clutha Country, Lawrence is an ideal place to stop for coffee, lunch or evening dining at the wide variety of food places. There are several retail outlets and a local tavern. Use the free internet access and free international phone service at the Information Centre and Museum. Explore and stay at a number of quality and historical accommodation facilities ranging from motels to bed and breakfast, town houses and the Lawrence Camping Ground. There is a Fire Service, St John Ambulance, Doctor, Medical Centre and Rest Home based in town. Sports facilities comprise
a Golf Course, Rodeo Grounds, Sportsground beside the Lawrence Area School. Public toilets are at the far end of town from the Trail Start.
It might be hard to believe this idyllic sheep farming country, known as Evans Flat, was originally densely covered with native tussock, matagouri, manuka, and flax, and with patches of bush land. Then in the late 1800s it transformed into a bustling settlement. There was gold mining, a flour mill and flax mill, a coal pit, three hotels, four stores and a school, and then a railway station opened in 1910. With an abundance of flax and water races in the vicinity, combined with a demand for flax fibre for rope-making, it’s not surprising flax mills were established here in the late 1800s. Hanks of fibre being hung out to dry in rows
in the paddocks nearby were a familiar sight and smell and the distinctive high pitched shriek as flax was fed into the stripper a familiar sound.
CYCLING & WALKING TRAILS CENTRAL OTAGO NZ
FOOD & DRINK
Clutha Gold & Roxburgh Gorge
Two of NZ's Great Rides
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