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Kiwi Towns

What’s so great about Balclutha best things to do

  • 1 minute

Balclutha bridge @Martin Hayward

Where to go and what to see

The mighty Clutha River is the soul of the district with the well known landmark, the Clutha Bridge a fitting introduction. Balclutha is a gateway for central Otago townships providing visitors with an opportunity to delve into the story of 19th century gold mining. The local Balclutha Museum is a good place to spend a rainy day or to research local stories. Balclutha is the gateway to the wild untamed Catlins, an important service centre and transport hub.

Balclutha, Otago, New Zealand @Stuff
Balclutha @Stuff

WHAT TO DO HIGHLIGHTS

  • TASTE THE CLUTHA FOOD TRAIL
  • Linger in the local museums soaking up stories about the personalities of the district
  • Walk the Blair Athol Walkway
  • Cycle to Balclutha’s Naish Park for an impromptu picnic
  • Join a local fishing guide for a day throwing a line for salmon and trout

BLAIR ATHOL WALKWAY

  • A riverside walk that finishes in a glorious spring display of rhododendrons.

TASTE THE CLUTHA FOOD TRAIL

  • A Clutha visitor initiative the ‘Taste of Clutha’ showcases local foodie treats and food producers. Eating like a local is a superb idea and, for visitors, the online stores mean you won’t miss out when you return home. You get to meet and greet the producers. There are honesty stalls (cash is king) and farmers markets to attend. Check the Travel Pack Section for more information about the Taste the Clutha Trail.
Blair Athol Walkway, Otago, New Zealand @NZ Pocket Guide
Blair Athol Walkway @NZ Pocket Guide
Balclutha Museum, Otago, New Zealand @NZ Museums
Balclutha Museum @NZ Museums

●     South Otago Museum the Balclutha Museum The interactive displays of domestic and industrial history are well thought out.

The passionate volunteers who manage the museum and its collections have catalogued and photographed the entire collection providing an excellent resource for researchers.

Check opening hours beforehand to avoid disappointment.

Contact the museum via email southotagomuseum@xtra.co.nz

Admission is free. Donations welcome.

WHO TURNED UP AND NAMED THE PLACE?
Balclutha is the Gaelic name for the River Clyde in Scotland. The Maori name for the district is Iwikatea: iwi: bones; katea: whitened – refers to a battle which left human bones strewn over the ground. Pre-European Maori named the Clutha River “te awa Mata-au” or “the river with surface current”.

INTERESTING FACT
Built in 1935, The Balclutha road bridge is 244m long and takes you across New Zealand’s second longest river.

Clutha Bridge, Otago, New Zealand @New Zealand
Clutha Bridge @New Zealand

TRAVEL PACK INFORMATION

TE PAPA COLLECTION
Balclutha | Collections Online – Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa An appealing mix of photographs capturing the essence of the town.

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