Starting from Alexandra, riders soon enter the Roxburgh Gorge, with bluffs rising almost 350m on either side of the river at its most dramatic point. Gold-mining history plays a big part in the attraction of this trail, with many remnants to be seen.
The middle section of this trail is currently not accessible by bike, so there is a 12km scenic boat trip down the river, which includes an informative commentary on the history of the region, before riders continue on their bikes. Please note the boat must be booked in advance.
The trail ends at the Lake Roxburgh Dam, but on the other side of the river another Great Ride begins – the Clutha Gold Trail. The Roxburgh Gorge Trail also connects with the Otago Central Rail Trail at Alexandra.
From the centre of Alexandra, head south across the main bridge and immediately turn right, down a short track to the river.
Turn right again and pass under the road bridge that you just crossed and head down the valley on a wide smooth trail that weaves through a large stand of willows.
After a few minutes the landscape changes, becoming more and more desert-like with towering rocks and large drops.
Around 10km from Alexandra you will reach the end of this section of the trail at Doctor’s Point, where there is a toilet and a jetty.
From here a boat can take you down the river. The boat journey includes an excellent introduction to the history and geology of the area and costs $95 and must be pre-booked.
For boat options contact Clutha River Cruises on 03 449 3173 or Beaumont Jet on 03 485 9455.
The boat trip is 12km and ends at a second jetty at Shingle Creek.
From there the trail takes you down the valley to a car park high above the Lake Roxburgh Dam.
If you intend to continue on to the Clutha Gold Trail, cross over the dam and follow the signs down to about 500m below the dam to a car park where the Clutha Gold Trail begins.
Credit photo to Bennett & Slater & NZ Cycle Trail
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