Day 7 – Cromwell

Saturday, Jan 23 2016

Roxburgh Gorge Trail

It was supposed to rain, but it ended up being a warm day with a bit of wind.

We had decided to hike the Roxburgh Gorge Trail from Alexandra to the Lake Roxburgh Dam, however, Cheryl felt that she had the beginnings of a cold and we decided that I would hike the trail, while she would spend the day taking pictures and engaging in short hikes along the way to the Roxburgh Dam, where we would meet.

We had a simple breakfast of cereal and fruit before we drove to Alexandra for a 9:30 am start.

The trail is 33 km ( 21 mile ) in length through the Roxburgh Gorge, following the Clutha Mata-au river. Starting from Alexandra, the trail enters the Roxburgh Gorge with bluffs rising almost 350 m 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 the trail is not accessible, so there is a 12 km, ( 7.5 ), $95, pre-booked boat ride down the river before the trail continues for another 11 km ( 6.5 mile ) to the Dam.

I had booked the boat ride for 12:30 so, I needed to be at the pickup point by 12:15.

The first 10 km of the hike was mostly on flat terrain with very little elevation changes and there was only one section with some serious ” switch-backs ” The views along this section were a contrast of the tree-lined river and the upper barren rock sections.

Some of the old miner’s cabins, if you could call them that, could be seen along the river’s edge. Since there was no wood in this area, the homes were made under rock ledges for roofs and stones piled up for the walls. Nothing fancy.

The trail is designed for bikers and there were a few bicyclists along the way.

I had a leisurely pace while taking pictures along the way and I reached the dock at 12:00 pm. Myself and a bicyclist were the only ones to get picked up and the driver of the boat was very informative about the area along the hike. He stopped frequently to shows us the remnants of the different miner’s homes.

He dropped us off at the dock at the beginning of the next section of the trail around 12:30 pm and I continued on my way to the dam. The upper terrain of the gorge in this area was covered in grass, scrub brush and small trees. The trail started a slow ascent to 350 m ( 1150 ft ) above the water. There were more switch-backs due to the changes in elevation and it was a little longer so it took more effort complete this section of the hike.

I reached the end of the trail at the dam at 3:15 pm. Cheryl met me with the van at the end of the trek and we drove to Clyde for supper at a local restaurant before heading back to Cromwell.

By the time we got back, the concert in the nearby town was over

A New Zealander from Dunedin named Darrin Pryde was visiting one of his friends in a campsite next to ours, and he wanted to add something on my blog so he wrote the following comments:

Donald Trump rules

Darrin Pryde was here 2016. Have a great trip around NZ you are welcome back to our place anytime

Ching ching Speights rules ( along with the All Blacks)

For those of you who don’t know, the ” Ching ching is for the sound of beer glasses during a toast, Speights is a beer and the ” All Blacks ” are the New Zealand back-to-back world rugby champions ( the only team that has ever achieved this accomplishment).

2 thoughts on “Day 7 – Cromwell

    1. Hi Les,

      The trek was wonderful. Thanks for letting me know about it.

      I’m sorry to say that we didn’t get to Dunedin. Please thank David for offering to meet with us if we were in the area.


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