Alexandra to Clyde River Track

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The Alexandra to Clyde River Track is a dual purpose track specifically designed for both walkers and bikers.  It follows alongside the mighty Clutha Mata-au River as it swiftly meanders through the valley.

The Alexandra to Clyde River Track is an excellent track which makes for a leisurely walk.  We took 3 hours to walk the 12 km from the township of Alexandra through to picturesque Clyde.  Or if you prefer, you can bike the Alexandra to Clyde River Track – a great family outing!

The banks of the mighty Clutha Mata-au River are steeped with gold mining history.  Did you know that in 1920, 20 dredges were working on the Clutha Mata-au River between Alexandra and Clyde?

Explore the Local Area By Bike

Once you have arrived in Clyde, you may decide to explore the area further.  One of the best ways to do this is by a self-guided cycling tour along the Central Otago Rail Trail.  If pedal power isn’t your thing, these tours also have e-bikes available.

Quick Facts

        • Location: South Island NZ
        • Distance: 12 km
        • Time needed: 3 Hours
        • Difficulty: Very Easy
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: Round Trip
        • Elevation: Unknown
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: No
        • Dogs: No
        • Mobile Coverage: Yes
        • Last Updated: November 2020
  • Track Highlights

    This walk follows the Clutha River and passes the nationally significant Earnscleugh Tailings. Gold was discovered here around 1862 and dredging continued until 1963.  The result is these tailings which are hundreds of metres wide.

  • Track Quality

    Good firm walking surface.  Heavy boots not required.

  • Hazards

    As this is an easy track, some cyclists can travel fast.

  • Transport

    If you give up on the first half, you can hitch a ride back from Clyde

  • Water

    Fresh drinking water is not available along this track.  There are cafes in Alexandra and Clyde.

  • Driving Instructions


  • Shops or Restaurants Nearby

    The track begins (or ends) minutes away from the centre of Alexandra.  There are restaurants and cafes in both Alexandra and Clyde.  Alexandra has a decent shopping centre.

  • Area & Track History

    This track was opened in 1989 to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the European settlement of Otago. This walk follows the Clutha River and passes the old Earnscleugh Tailings. Gold was discovered around here in 1862. The best time to mine for gold was when the Clutha River was at it’s lowest which was in the freezing wintertime. When the easy gold ran out, the miners switched to sluice boxes then on to Spoon dredges then Wheel dredges. In 1920 there were 20 dredges working on the Clutha River between Alexandra and Clyde

  • Best Things To Do Near This Walk

  • Map Location of Alexandra to Clyde River Track

    Map of walk

Points of Interest Along the Walk

In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. Each point has photos along with a description of each one.

Point 1: Alexandra to Clyde River Track

Once across the Alexandra bridge, you should find the River track sign on the light pole, and to your right, there is a small shed. Turn right and follow your nose up the Clutha river

Point 2: First bridge

I looked down into the creek, and I saw three rainbow trout feeding alongside the riverbank. If it does rain do not worry, take the bridges and boardwalks. You will see km markers all the way along the walk (which are very helpful for those who like to know if they are ‘there yet’)—a total of 11.3 km in all.

Point 3: Earnscleugh Historic Tailings

Earnscleugh Historic tailings are easy to find just look for the old pieces of dredges lying beside the track. The Alexandra dredge produced 6500 ounces of gold over twelve rears.

Point 4: Clyde River bridge

Here I was lucky to find a tree full of sweet plums!  A quick stroll across this historic bridge into the historic township of Clyde.  Here you will find cafes to fuel you up.

All walks in Alexandra…

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