Alexandra / Clyde AreaAlexandra, Clyde, Earnscleugh and Fruitlands
Autumn glows red and amber along the banks of rivers that flow to a heart founded on gold, and shaped by enterprise.
The thriving town metropolis of Alexandra is Central Otago's business and political capital. It is situated at the conjunction of two rivers, the Manuherikia and the mighty Clutha. A little further up the Clutha is the historic gold mining township of Clyde and the immense Clyde hydro dam.
Enjoy the eateries, parks, artists' studios, craft markets and modern facilities of Alexandra, but remember, its gold mining past is never far from the surface.
Wonder at the hardship and innovation of early pioneers in Alexandra Museum's astonishing collections.
Tour old gold diggings and dredge sites like the spectacular Earnscleugh tailings, and the town's aged stone buildings. The grand Alexandra Courthouse (1879-1972), is one of the oldest and now operates as a Café.
Amble across Shaky Bridge, an early suspension bridge. Magnificent stone piers are all that are left of Alexandra's first bridge.
Visit Clyde, a quaint, well preserved town of the gold rush era. Its nearby hydro dam has a capacity of 432 megawatts of power from its four turbines.
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Enjoy the eateries, wineries, parks, artists’ studios, golf course and modern facilities of Alexandra, a popular holiday destination and Central Otago’s thriving commercial and cultural centre. Visitors and locals can always tell the time of day in Alexandra by one of the world’s most unusual clocks, standing 11 metres wide on a rock face high above the town.
Clyde is a beautifully preserved, historic township offering the best of Central Otago hospitality. Just 10 minutes northwest of Alexandra, Clyde is the official start (or end) of the Otago Central Rail Trail. The annual wine and food festival is held on Easter Sunday and Clyde is a special place to see in the new year.
Fruitlands is one of Central Otago’s most photographed places during winter frosts and snows. It gained its name when an attempt was made to establish orchards there. Only one crop of fruit was ever exported, the hard winter frosts destroying most of the trees. Mitchells cottage is one of the best surviving examples of quality stonemasonry.
Earnscleugh Valley, between Alexandra and Clyde, once famous for being home to one of New Zealand's largest sheep stations, is a place of stunning beauty. Drive through and explore orchards, extensive gold mining remains and pinot noir vineyards. Enjoy local produce from fruit stalls – cherries, apricots, nectarines, peaches, plums and apples.