Roxburgh Gorge & Clutha Gold Trail
Self-guided - Four nights
Explore our friendly southern communities where locals still have time for a chat
The Roxburgh Gorge is a stunning landscape providing a remote wilderness experience. It is one of New Zealand’s great rides and is breathtakingly different. Cycling is a great way to experience the Roxburgh Gorge. The Clutha Gold ride from Roxburgh follows this mighty river with its distinctive turquoise water. With views of orchards on both sides of the valley there is plenty of colour no matter what the season. In spring you can enjoy the blossom, or the stunning colours in autumn, while in summer there is the beauty of trees laden with fruit.
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Day One: 34 km
Day Two: 29 km
Day Three: 44 km
Roxburgh Gorge - Easy
Clutha Gold - Easiest
Day One: Your day begins with a substantial, nourishing breakfast before your transport collects you to take you to the start of the trail in Alexandra. This is a 30-minute drive.
The Roxburgh Gorge is a stunning landscape providing a remote wilderness experience. It is one of New Zealand’s great rides and is breathtakingly different. Cycling is a great way to experience the Roxburgh Gorge. The trail is open all year round and has a well-formed, 2.5-metre-wide, gravel surface with some climbs. It takes between four to five hours to cycle.
From the start of the trail in Alexandra, you pass under the Alexandra Bridge and beside the historic bridge piers. The Manuherikia River joins the Clutha and you enter the gorge within 1km of the start of the track. The transition to a rugged, natural environment is almost immediate. The trail gains height as it makes it way toward Butchers Creek (4.1km) where there are stone-walled water races and remnants of the gold mining days. At Doctors Point, you meet the boat transfer between Doctors Point and Shingle Creek. The stunning trip includes an historical commentary. Sit back and enjoy the wonder of being in another world. From Shingle Creek you ride through to Elbow Creek, before passing through a small secluded valley and regenerating Ka-nuka (Tea tree) scrubland and on to Lake Roxburgh Dam lookout. Close by is your accommodation at Lake Roxburgh Lodge.
If you are cycling in late spring, the hillsides will be covered in an aromatic purple flower – this is wild thyme. In summer, the dramatic colours of the Clutha River are a dynamic contrast to the grey, schist rock outcrops. In autumn, the willow trees on the water’s edge provide a beautiful golden foreground.
Day Two: You cycle from the Lodge across the Roxburgh Dam meeting the Clutha Gold Trail on the other side of the Clutha Mata-au river. The ride from the start of the trail to Roxburgh follows this mighty river with its distinctive turquoise water. With views of orchards on both sides of the valley there is plenty of colour no matter what the season. In spring you can enjoy the blossom, or the stunning colours in autumn, while in summer there is the beauty of trees laden with fruit. Take time to stop in Roxburgh for a cuppa and explore this lovely town before venturing on to Millers Flat. The track continues to meander along the Clutha Mata-au river. Stop at Pinders Pond and enjoy a break and even a swim - before cycling through pastoral farmland toward the small settlement of Millers Flat. Your transport will meet you at Millers Flat and return you to the Lodge.
Day Three: After a relaxing breakfast your transport takes you to Millers Flat where the day’s cycling begins. The trail to Beaumont continues to follow the river. Make sure you stop off and visit the historic Horseshoe Bend suspension bridge and the site of the lonely graves. There are also plenty of other photo stops along the way. The trail climbs to its highest point and through the Big Hill Tunnel – a torch is a great idea! It then descends gently into farmland. Along the way, there are several historic sites including ancient Chinese gold mining sites and places where flax fibre was milled for rope making. There’s time to explore Lawrence before meeting your transport and returning to Lake Roxburgh Lodge.
The package includes:
A bike to meet your comfort with helmet, repair puncture kit
E bikes available on request
Transport to Alexandra and jet boat transfer
Transport from Millers Flat on day one back to Lodge
Transport to Millers Flat and back to Lodge from Lawrence on day two
Accommodation: Four nights at Lake Roxburgh Lodge in a standard studio room
Meals: Includes four evening dinners, four breakfasts and a packed lunch for your cycle journey each day
You will also get a maintenance tag which supports the volunteers who have built and maintained the Clutha Gold Trail
Trail map and passport
The night before your ride you’ll be briefed on the departure time and equipped with a bike that suits you for comfort and fit.
What you need to be prepared:
Water bottle – take plenty of water with you
Clothing – layers of clothing are important as the climate can change quickly. Include a rain jacket.
Central Otago is known for its sunny days – bring your sunscreen
Camera and a torch for the tunnel
Accommodation Pre and Post Tour Package
If you wish to arrive a day or two before your package dates or stay on after let us know and we will discuss our options with you.
Accommodation can be upgraded to a superior guest room choosing Deluxe Package option. For other upgrade options please ask.
*Please note that cell phone coverage is limited on the Roxburgh Gorge and Clutha Gold Trail
Provided we are advised in advance of your stay we can cater for vegetarian diets and can assist with medically recommended diets which include allergies and intolerances. Please discuss your requirements with Anna.
What is the maintenance tag?
Your package includes a maintenance tag – this is an opportunity to give back to the community and the environment. The Roxburgh Gorge Trail has been created with the generous support of landowners, volunteers and tangata whenua. These trails are part-funded by local and central government, and managed and maintained by a not-for-profit trail company — the Central Otago Clutha Trail Company Ltd.
Maintaining the trail surface and structures for the benefits of safety and longevity is a key focus and high priority for this volunteer group and its contractors. The tag is a way of supporting the Trail Company and ensuring that the Roxburgh Gorge experience will be enjoyed for generations to come. All funds generated are used for trail maintenance.
If this trip seems right for you then we encourage you to call us now to check availability. We always need to ensure other services, like the transport and boat, are also available before we can confirm your place on this experience.