Central Otago Road Trip – Day 186
Discovering New Zealand’s most isolated towns
Today we are driving from Ranfurly to Alexandra discovering some quaint and characterful New Zealand towns along the way! If you like this video and need more NZ bucket list inspiration, jump on over to our awesome YouTube Channel. You’ll like it 🙂
Today is another day where i pay for my early mistake of miss-planning this trip and we basically have to drive all the way back from Ranfurly to Alexandra.
This morning we wake up in the beautiful Ranfurly Holiday Park and the owner of the holiday park, Paul, has suggested us to go visit the Hamiltons Cemetery which is nearby it’s on top of a hill and gives amazing views all around the area so we can’t miss that before leaving Ranfurly.
And the trip to the Hamiltons Cemetery another example of how following Google Maps is not always the right option. There is a lot of really good roads that leads to the Hamiltons Cemetery but Google Maps sends us to a really really dodgy one.
Nonetheless we’re making it to the cemetery all in one piece and are taking the time to read a little bit the signs before making our way toward the cemetery itself.
But Laura on the way gets distracted by a group of lovely very very young calves.
New Zealand’s biggest industry is the dairy industry so you’re gonna see a lot of these little guys as you’re travelling around New Zealand and these little calves are kind of curious but really cute they keep coming up for a pat each and it’s pretty hard for us to drag ourselves away from them but we are here to see the Hamiltons Cemetery so here we are getting ready to see those views.
From here we can see the whole Central Otago area this is going to be the area that we’re going to be driving through today and we learn there is a lot of history behind the cemetery up here as well.
The Hamiltons Cemetery is actually the only remains of a large town that actually used to be here called Hamiltons. It was here during the gold rush era. there was about 2,000 miners living in the area and the town had about 25 liquor outlets and 40 stores but signs of all of that have completely disappeared.
We do have a little bit of a nosy at all the grave stones here and most of them are from the 1800s. there’s one gravestone which has a bit of a weird sort of case to it so apparently a mailman died while delivering mail so who said that paper cuts can’t kill ya?
God, don’t stand up all at once to applaud Laura for that joke.
Anyway we are now leaving the Hamiltons Cemetery and we are making our way to the little township of Alexandra. That’s the story of today, I did mess up the itinerary yesterday and the day before yesterday so we have a lot of backtracking to do. But we’re pretty lucky because the drive to there is absolutely stunning.
The whole drives takes us through heaps of little gold mining towns that were established during the Central Otago gold rush back in the 1800s-something. And one of the most famous gold mining towns in the area was named Ophir. It’s spelled O-P-H-I-R, go figure out how to pronounce that.
Ophir is one of the perfect examples of the classic gold town of the Central Otago. It still has a lot of those authentic buildings and has a really cool building which is the post and telegraph office of Ophir. It’s probably one of the oldest post shops in the whole country.
Although it was built in 1886 it was kept in perfect condition being repainted throughout the years to make it look really good and is the perfect opportunity for us to stop take a few pictures just before heading on the road again.
We’re now reaching our final destination of today which is Alexandra and we’re gonna go check out a bit of a walk which involves going over something called the Shaky Bridge named because it used to be shaky but it’s not actually that bad.
So today we are making our way all the way to the Alexandra Clock behind me but on the way we did spot this beautiful vineyard with a superb view of the clock so Laura’s been here for about 20 minutes taking pictures and she’s gonna keep on going.
We’re making our way to the Clock on the Hill which is not only really awesome cos there’s a giant clock on a hill, but it’s also meant to have really awesome views from the top so we’ve got a bit of a rugged steep climb but thankfully it’s super short and on the way up I can smell Robin’s pasta.
It’s it’s a herb is it? Rosemary? No. What is it? Mixed Italian herbs, which one of them?
It is not mixed Italian herbs from Pakn’Save, Laura! What is it? Not basil. It’s not rosemary. Thyme. Whoo.
The last section of the climb is quite steep and requires us to go on our knees at some point to climb those really really gigantic rocks but the result at the top is absolutely amazing.
Alright so we finally made it up. All the way to the Alexandra Town Hill Clock. The Clock on a Rock. Behind me a clock in front of me a perfect view.
From the top we can see the Old Man Range, The Hawkdan Range as well as the Clutha River among other rivers we can spot and tomorrow we’re gonna hop on a bike and ride along the Clutha River so it’s really cool to see where we are going while mountain biking alongside this awesome river.
Today was a bit of a mish mash of everything but that’s exactly what driving through New Zealand is and we hope you loved.
What a div…