Clutha Gold & Roxburgh Gorge

Two of NZ's Great Rides


Commissioner Flat to Roxburgh – (9.4km)

This section follows the banks of the mighty Clutha Matau-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 those 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)

Meander along the riverside, keeping an eye out for stuning hillside rock formations and large stands of regenerating native Ka-uka (tea tree).  Five kilometres beyond Roxburgh, enjoy a break - and a swim - at Pinders Pond.


Millers Flat to Beaumont – (24.7km)

Journey on through pastoral farm land towards the tiny settlement of Millers Flat then through the remote and beautiful Beaumont Gorge, meeting up with 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)

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 framland, 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).


Helpful tips - keeping safe:

• Open year-round, the trail is suitable for all ages.

• Ride or walk at your own risk.

• Keep left and consider other users; cyclists give way to walkers.

• Be aware of falling branches in high winds.

• Swimming in the Clutha Mata-au River is not recommended;

    it is dangerous.

• The trail crosses the highway at several points; take care at all times.

• Be aware that river levels can change without warning.

• Use the trail only during daylight hours.

• Cell phone coverage is limited.


Please also:

• Keep to the trail.

• Respect neighbouring farms and orchards; owners generously
   provide easements over their land.

• Be vigilant during lambing (Aug – Oct); if gates are across the trail,
   leave them as you find them.

• Take all rubbish with you.


And finally:

• Public toilets are located at Lake Roxburgh Village, Roxburgh,
   Pinders Pond, Millers Flat, Little Minzion Burn, Beaumont,
   Big Hill Rail Tunnel and Lawrence.

• Stock may be encountered on or near the trail.

• Gunshots may be heard during duck and upland game hunting

    seasons (May to August inclusive).

• Other than e-bikes, motorised transport is not allowed on the trail.

Alexandra to Doctors Point – return (20km cycle/walk)

Begin your journey by passing under the Alexandra Bridge and beside historic (1882) bridge piers.  Then, where the Manuherikia and Clutha Matau-au rivers meet, enter the Roxburgh Gorge.  Be amazed by the abrupt transition from urban to remote landscape against an awe-inspiring gorge backdrop.  Gaining height, the trail continues its way south towards Butchers Creek, stone-walled water races, and other remnants of gold mining activity.  Further on, Doctors Point is the halfway mark.  Stop for a rest at this impressive former gold mining site before returning to Alexandra the way you came.


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
jetty at Doctors Point.  Here, meet the jet boat for an exciting scenic trip down the lake to Shingle Creek.  Re-join the trail and journey on to complete the trail at Lake Roxburgh Hydro Dam.


Roxburgh Hydro Dam to Shingle Creek - return (22km cycle or walk)

From the Roxburgh Dam lookout, travel north into a rugged and isolated landscape with stunning northerly vistas across the lake.  Then, heading away from the water, the trail passes through a small secluded valley with regenerating Ka-nuka (tea tree) scrubland and on into sweeping hill country farmland.  At Elbow Creek, enjoy a gradual descent to Shingle Creek, the halfway mark.  Here, pause for a rest before heading back to the hydro dam along the same route.


Be prepared…for a wonderful experience

• Clothing – wear layers as the climate can be changeable any time      of year.

• Sun protection – it’s sensible to wear sunscreen at any time of year,
   but particularly in the very hot summer months.

• Bicycle – a mountain bike is best. Always wear a helmet and take
   tools and a puncture repair kit.

• Water – take plenty with you.

• Food and refreshments – take food for snacks and lunch. Once you
   leave Alexandra there is no access to food or drink along  the    Roxburgh Gorge trail.

• Medical – take a first aid kit with you.

• Comfort stops – there are toilets available in Alexandra and

   Roxburgh, at the beginning and end of the trail, and at Doctors Point

   and Shingle Creek.


Book your boat connection

Boat trips must be booked in advance. For more information, including transfer times, costs and to make a booking, contact Alexandra i-SITE on +64 3 448 9515 or the Roxburgh i-SITE +64 3446 8920


Boat connections are provided by:

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