Lake Roxburgh to Doctors Point Walk

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The Roxburgh Gorge walk is a medium 10km walk that will take you around 5 hours one way. Plan it right and catch the boat back to town. The Roxburgh Gorge walk is not on the bike trail, it’s on the other side of the river. The Roxburgh Gorge walk is my favourite walk in Central Otago. You get to walk back into the late 1880 with the gold miners, through this amazing gorge with just a bag of flour and few tins of bully beef over your shoulder.

Quick Facts

        • Location: South Island NZ
        • Distance: 10 kms
        • Time needed: 5 Hours
        • Difficulty: Medium
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: One Way
        • Elevation: 180m
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: No
        • Dogs: No
        • Mobile Coverage: No
        • Last Updated: November, 2019
  • Track Highlights

    The miners used a lot of thyme to help add flavor to the tough old Mutton. Now the whole valley is covered in thyme and adds a present scent to your walk. If you look up the steep sides you might see what is left of old miners huts. The miners found an over hanging rock then built the walls from the surrounding stones. It was just to far to walk back into Alexandra after a hard day turning rocks.

  • Track Quality

    The track starts off narrow and stony. After Davis Bend there are places where you will have to slow down and hold on to the over hanging rocks to get around other rocks.

  • Hazards

    After Davis Bend there are two very tricky sections, only for the young at heart. It can be very hot up the river in summer.

  • Transport


  • Water

    We had to drink out of the river it was so hot. We had no problems the next day with up set stomachs.

  • Driving Instructions

    Grab a map from the info center in Alexandra.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    Every thing you need is in Alexandra, just one Km away.

  • Area & Track History

    This walk follows the gold miners pack track in to the Roxburgh Gorge. Gold was discovered in 1865 at Butchers Point. The remains of the gold miners village can still be seen today, including the Leaky Lodge, the Pub. The story is, the still was out the back of the main stone hut and so much grog was made and drunk it flowed out the front door. At Doctors Point you will see extensive stone working, water races and rusting old machinery. It’s really interesting.

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of Lake Roxburgh to Doctors Point Walk

    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 about each one.

Point 1: Lake Roxburgh starts

The Lake Roxburgh Walk starts from Graveyard Gully. It’s a easy 25 minutes walk from Alexandra shopping centre. Behind the Graveyard you will see the start of the track. The 1863 flood and the big snow storm on the Old Man Range took many lives, it is known there are 30 men buried in this grave yard.

Point 2: Butchers point

The walk up to Butchers point was a very hot walk. I did find the remains of a couple of old miners huts made out rocks, but I had to do a little rock climbing to get to them. The walk up the Clutha River was interesting, on the other side of the river I could see more stone huts but I did not fancy the swim. The miners brought with them a few sprigs of thyme to help add a little flavor to the rabbit stew, now the whole Lake Roxburgh Walk has pleasant smells of thyme. It took us 2 Hours to walk to Butchers point. Our ride back to Alexandra zoomed up river. It was a good move to be picked up at Doctors Point, man it was getting hot.

Point 3: Davis Bend

Now it is getting interesting, I lost count of the old stone huts I hunted down. One stone hut had some gear stowed away in the back, I could have stayed the night. The track was OK, just a bit stony.

Point 4: Doctors Point

We left Graveyard Gully at 1030 hr and stumbled into Doctors Point at 1515H. I had a feeling that last climb to the top looking for caves would do me in.
I did run into a small mob of smelly goats, next time I will bring the Bow, no the thyme did not help kill the smell, he was an old billy. There is a lot to see here at Doctors Point so don’t rush home, have a look around at the workings and see if you can catch that big slimy eel down in the river. The largest stone hut I found slept 18 gold miners, it is still used today by the brave mountain trampers. There are two places where your better half might have trouble negotiating, they were just minutes after leaving Doctors Point, one is a rock fall and the last one is trying to work your way around a rock face. The boat arrived to take us back to Alexandra, thank goodness.

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