From relaxed wanders around Clyde’s fascinating historic goldfields architecture to more challenging undertakings by foot or bike into the high country, the cyclist and walker are spoilt for choice. Clyde has numerous short walking tracks and for the more adventurous there is the Clyde Off Road Walkers Club.
Otago Central Rail Trail:
There is a myriad of walking and cycle trails across the countryside, which includes the famed Otago Central Rail Trail. This trail begins at Clyde and follows the original railway route through to Middlemarch, some 150 kilometres away.
Suitable for families and most cycling abilities, this well graded trail is also used by walkers and horse riders undertaking short sections or opting for the full 3-4 day journey. Passing pubs, vineyards and beautifully preserved gold towns and peddling over incredible viaducts, through tunnels and across Central Otago’s big open desert-like country is an experience to remember.
Just over the historic Clyde bridge, the Alexandra to Clyde 150th Anniversary Track begins, following the swirling emerald current of the Clutha/Matau-Au River downstream on an easy grade through the Earnscleugh Valley. En‑route pass the Earnscleugh gold tailings, distinctive rock and gravel formations – a legacy of the boom days of gold dredging on the river.
Further downstream, beginning at Alexandra, you can venture down the true left of the Clutha River (now Lake Roxburgh) to Butchers Point and Doctors Point, following an original gold miners’ route, where well-preserved gold mining artifacts can be seen, as well as wonderful schist stacked huts.
Roxburgh Gorge/Clutha Gold Trails:
The Roxburgh Gorge Trail takes you down the other side (true right) of the Clutha/Matau-Au River from Alexandra for 34 km before arriving at Lake Roxburgh Village and Dam. From here it connects up with the Clutha Gold Trail, from the Roxburgh Dam to Lawrence. Both cycle trails are recent additions to the Nga Haerenga, New Zealand Cycle Trail. A portion of The Roxburgh Gorge Trail requires a boat trip.
More advanced trails:
Heading for the tussock-clad tops offers a number of more challenging mountain bike tracks and walks.
If you are fit and experienced and looking for adventure you could follow the Hawksburn Road between Clyde and Bannockburn (25km) sidling the Cairnmuir Range, or travel ten kilometres south of Alexandra, off SH8, to access the Old Man Range.
A steep 4-wheel-drive road leads to the Obelisk or Kopuwai Rock, a natural landscape beacon standing over 26m high.
Investigate other options by contacting the Department of Conservation, the Visitor i-SITE in Alexandra or the local bike shops in Clyde.