10 Fun Things to Do in Alexandra
What to do in Alexandra, the sunny hub of Central Otago.
Located on the junction of two mighty rivers, the Manuherikia and the Clutha River, Alexandra is not to be missed on a Central Otago road trip! The landscape provides many photo opportunities with its rocky tors, high country, lush vineyards and orchards and vibrant blue rivers. As the hub of the region, Alexandra has all the modern facilities and necessities while its gold mining past is never too far from the surface, seen on the heritage buildings and bridges around the town. But if its the beauty of the landscapes that you seek, then the best way to discover it is also the myriad of cycling trails, such as the Roxburgh Gorge Trail and the Otago Central Rail Trail. Get more inspiration for your stay with this list of things to do in Alexandra.
1. Walk up to the Clock on the Hill
The first thing to do when reaching Alexandra is walking up to its iconic clockface overlooking the town. After crossing the historic Shaky Bridge follow the trail up the hill toward the unmissable clock on the hillside. The 5-minute walk to the clock offers expansive views of Alexandra town, the Clutha River, surrounding vineyards and the Old Man and Old Woman Ranges.
Location: Graveyard Gully Road
2. Cycle to Clyde
Alexandra is a hub for cycle trails including the 150th Anniversary River Track to Clyde. Hire a bike from in town (or start from Clyde with more bike hire options) and follow the 12km trail alongside the vibrant blue Clutha River. You’ll ride through small tracts of forest and past mining relics on this easy-grade bike trail. You can also sample the famous Otago Central Rail Trail which runs parallel to the River Trail to get back to where you started. Find out more in 5 Best Bike Trails in Alexandra & Clyde. And while you are in Clyde there are 9 Cool Things to Do in Clyde.
Location: Start from under the Alexandra Historic Bridge
3. Sample the local wines
Part of the Central Otago wine region, Alexandra is surrounded by a number of vineyards and wineries. The region specialises in Pinot Noir, but there’s always the option to try a range of varietals at the various cellar doors and tastings rooms. Check out 10 Best Wineries in Alexandra.
Location: All around Alexandra
4. Do the Roxburgh Gorge Trail
More exciting bike trails await, and one of the best is the Roxburgh Gorge Trail. Follow the Clutha River on a 34km journey through a dramatic river gorge. Part of the way involves an exciting jet boat transfer to Shingle Creek where you can continue the ride all the way to Lake Roxburgh Village and the impressive Roxburgh Dam. Find out more in 12 Super Scenic Cycle Trails in Otago.
Location: Start from under the Alexandra Historic Bridge
5. Visit the nearby gold mining towns
Alexandra and the surrounding area has a rich history of gold mining where prosperous buildings popped up around the region during the 1860s Otago Gold Rush. Today, they are beautifully preserved with some of the best-looking towns being Clyde, Ophir and St Bathans. These towns feel like an outdoor museum, where you can actually pick up heritage walk guides in the local information centres to find out about the buildings you are seeing.
Location: Ophir – 26km northeast of Alexandra, Clyde – 11km northwest of Alexandra, St Bathans – 60km northeast of Alexandra.
6. Visit the Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery
Who doesn’t love a small town museum?! The Central Stories Museum in Alexandra showcases the stories of the Central Otago region including the region’s geology, early settlers, social history, gold mining, farming, orcharding, viticulture and much more! There’s also an art gallery for inspiration.
Location: 21 Centennial Avenue
7. Check out the quaint cafes and bars
Alexandra is packed with fabulous eateries! Try wining and dining at the Monteith’s Brewery Bar or the Ninety Six Restaurant & Wine Bar. Or simply pick up a coffee and a treat from the Tin Goose Cafe or The Courthouse Cafe.
Location: All eateries mentioned are on Centennial Avenue
8. Go for a walk in Roxburgh
A popular day trip from Alexandra is a day out in Roxburgh. After a scenic drive down State Highway 8, see the impressive Roxburgh Dam – best seen from the Spillway Lookout on the Commissioner’s Track. Travel a little further south to Roxburgh town to do the River Track or get awesome views from the Grovers Hill Track. Or if you’re looking for something more adventurous, enjoy a hike up the Bullocks Track. Find out more about each of these walks in 6 Best Walks in Roxburgh.
Location: Roxburgh, 40km south of Alexandra
9. Play golf
Enjoy the beauty of the Central Otago region while playing a round of golf at the Alexandra Golf Course. What was once a semi-desert has been transformed into a challenging golf course for all ages and abilities. Play on treeline fairways and surrounded by thyme-clad hills on this golf course which provides easy walking and welcomes visitors.
Location: North of town off State Highway 8
10. Walk in the Bridge Hill Area
After exploring the town, sampling the cuisine and doing a few day trips here and there, cross the Alexandra Bridge to Bridge Hill to see another side of Alexandra with picturesque scenery and excellent walks. See native plantings and birds along the Kamaka Walkway, check out the Jolendale Park Arboretum mixed with mining evidence, and watch the ducks of the pretty Lanes Dam. Adjacent to the dam is Blackmore Park, great for picnicking and letting the kids loose in the play area.
Location: Bridge Hill, south of town
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