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Walks

Roxburgh walks and things to do

  • 4 minutes

Clutha River cycle trail, heritage town walk and more

Explore 19th century gold mining bridle paths to Butchers Point through Graveyard Gully, Clutha River gorge. Absorb sights, historic tailings, miner’s stone shelters and regenerating high country tussock on the hills. Spend time wandering the town on a heritage trail or take in the views from the Roxburgh Dam on the Commissioners Walk. Cycle, walk or stroll in the remote landscape of Central Otago and find yourself unwinding and relaxing into the slower pace of rural life.

Lake Roxburgh Walkway, Central Otago, New Zealand @Hiiker
Lake Roxburgh Walkway @Hiiker

LAKE ROXBURGH WALKWAY

Aptly described as New Zealand’s Grand Canyon the historic trail follows an old bridle path that brought coal to the gold mining dredges on the Clutha River/Mata-Au from the 1890s until the 1930’s.

The walk has several sections and is managed by Department of Conservation, see brochure in TRAVEL PACK.

GRAVEYARD GULLY TO BUTCHERS POINT

Tramping and mountain bike trail 20 km return.

BUTCHERS POINT TO DOCTORS POINT

Tramping track 6 km return.

Across Lake Roxburgh you will see further evidence of mining dotted along the (non-DOC) Roxburgh Gorge Trail. This entire track is on private land. Please show respect by following the Leave No Trace code. Historic areas like this are easily destroyed. Remember that historic artefacts, including earth and stoneworks, are protected by law. Tread carefully and take only photographs.

Lake Roxburg Walkaway Map, Central Otago, New Zealand
Lake Roxburg Walkaway Map
Roxburgh, Central Otago, New Zealand @handpickedcrewnz
Roxburgh @handpickedcrewnz

ROXBURGH TOWN WALK

Follow footpaths past river reserve and historic buildings. There is a walking brochure available from the local visitor centre.

Start and end at the Information Centre for Roxburgh town heritage trail.

Length: 1.5 km loop trail

Duration: varies

Grade: Easy firm surface

Replete with history, the town has a very pleasant 5 km 1.5 hour loop walk that passes interesting historic buildings and wonderful views of the surroundings. This is an easy walk on town footpaths and river reserve track. After a circuit around the interesting old buildings in the township the track follows the river upstream past the current bridge and remains of the previous two. Originally there was a ferry across the river here and this site is seen as well.

Roxburgh Hydro Dam & Lookout, New Zealand @TripAdvisor
Roxburgh Hydro Dam & Lookout @TripAdvisor

ROXBURGH DAM & COMMISSIONERS TRACK

Roxburgh track is owned by Contact Energy. The firm path is a local favourite for dog walkers and daily exercise. Start at the information display kiosk approximately 1 km from the dam site. There is car parking and signposting.

  • Elevated views
  • Picnic tables
  • Schist outcrops and plenty of Central Otago landscapes
  • Shared trail with mountain bikes
  • Care is needed as parts of the trail have unprotected steep drops

Length: 1.8 km (one way) loop track

Grade: Medium, steep ascent and descent

Dogs: allowed on leash

INTERESTING FACT

Interestingly, very little gold was found during the construction of the dam. Disappointing for the Government as they had purchased a miners permit and employed a couple of miners. Contact Energy took over ownership of the Roxburgh Dam in 1996 from the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand.

Source Roxburgh Community Online.

Bullock Track overlooking Roxburgh, Otago, New Zealand
Bullock Track overlooking Roxburgh

BULLOCKS TRACK

Day walk for experienced hikers. The steep ascent follows the 19th century bullock pack tracks up the Old Man Range. The bullock wagons serviced the pop up gold mining settlements in the remote mountain ranges behind Roxburgh. The surface is largely grassed and can be slippery in icy conditions. Good footwear is essential. The area is exposed with no shelter, be prepared for sudden weather changes. The track is well signposted. The car park is approximately 3 km from Roxburgh. Stay on the track as it is. It is a right-of-way across private land; stay on the track and leave gates open or shut as you find them. The track commences across farmland to a sheltered alpine gully. Return the way you came or take the longer route and descend the Mt.Hope Road to Coal Creek and return along SH8.

NOTE

Carry your own water supply.

Length: 8 km

Duration: 2 – 3 hours one way

Grade: Medium

The Bullock Track starts at an information kiosk and car park 3 km north of Roxburgh on SH8.

3746 Fruitlands-Roxburgh Road, Roxburgh 9571.

Clutha River, Alexandra heritage bridge arch a memorial to 19th century, Alexandra, Otago, New Zealand
Clutha River, Alexandra heritage bridge arch

ROXBURGH GORGE TRAIL – SHARED CYCLE / WALKING PATH

Primarily a cycling one day trail the track is designated a shared trail for both trampers and cyclists. The visually stunning trail traverses New Zealand’s river gorges (Clutha River), eroded cliff faces and 19th century gold mining shelters, tailings. The picturesque ruins are set among native plants,  thyme and willows.

The well maintained 2.5 metre wide trail is open year round. The trail is part of a network of cycling trails in Central Otago. The Otago Central Rail Trail and Clutha Gold Trail.

ALEXANDRA TO DOCTORS POINT: 10 km (one way)

ROXBURGH DAM TO SINGLE CREEK: 11 km (one way)

WHERE DOES THE ROXBURGH GORGE TRAIL START?

Clutha-Mata-au River trail starts. Alexandra Blue bridge is located next to original piers of the 1882 suspension bridge. The original piers are local schist and are 30 metres in height. The original bridge was closed in 1958.

Roxburgh golf, Roxburgh, New Zealand @golfpass
Roxburgh golf @golfpass

GROVERS HILL

South of Roxburgh climb the nearby hills for vantage points and descend following the Clutha River on the return. Spectacular Frog Rock is a highlight with its majestic views of Roxburgh and the Teviot Valley. Keep an eye out for the unusual Roxburgh Golf Course. The track is signposted at 13 Teviot St, Roxburgh.

NOTE

Sheer drops and cliff faces, care is needed and supervise children.

Length: 3.7 km

Duration: 1 ½ hours

Grade: Medium, steep ascent / descent on uneven surface

TRAVEL PACK INFORMATION

BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE

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