Cycling Central Otago gems

Department of Conservation —  27/02/2014

February is Bike Wise month and to celebrate Fiordland Biodiversity Ranger Chrissy Wickes tells us about her recent trip biking the Roxburgh Gorge and Clutha Gold Trail.

Chrissy Wickes.

Chrissy Wickes

Having biked the Central Otago cycleway with my partner and son we were looking for another great cycle route in the Central Otago area.

We found a real gem, the Roxburgh Gorge and the Clutha Gold Trail and we headed off in January on a three day journey.

As we were doing it as a family we took our time doing 20-25 kilometres a day, and taking all day to do it! Why not!

Clutha river and cycle track between Roxburgh and Alexandra.

Schist country between Roxburgh and Alexandra

Starting at Alexandra we headed off on a fabulous purpose built bike trail. There is something so special about being able to bike free of traffic in an amazing gorge in the remote heartland of Central Otago schist country.

Biking the Roxburgh Gorge.

Following the Clutha/Mata-Au River

After the first 10 kilometres we met up with a jet boat (pre-arranged) that took us about 12 kilometres through the gorge to meet up with the trail again. This was a great luxury and currently the only way to do the trail without doubling back.

Chrissy's son Shannon in front of the jet boat.

Catching the jet boat

There was lots of history to learn about along the way, with old miners cottages made from the local stone. We stayed just out of Roxburgh the first night and headed off to Millers Flat the second day.

Millers flat is a charming settlement on the south side of the river — friendly and peaceful with plenty of history.

The third day got us back to Roxburgh, where the obliging owner of our first night’s accommodation had organised for our car to be relocated to. The people we met were amazingly friendly.

Cycling the Clutha Gold Trail.

Clutha Gold Trail between Millers Flat and Roxburgh

The gorge was our highlight. It was beautiful following the cool blue Clutha/Mata-au River all the way amongst the dry brown rocky landscape. I would choose your weather wisely it can be excessively hot in summer and extremely cold out of summer. It is also remote so you need to be prepared.

One response to Cycling Central Otago gems

    Marion Bridge 08/03/2014 at 10:08 am

    Sounds fantastic, hope to be able to find the details of booking to do this.