Clutha Gold Trail

The Clutha Gold Trail is one of the 23 Great Rides under Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail.

Status: Open

Grade: Easy (2)

Duration: 2 days

Total Length: 73km

The full trail is an easy 2-day ride with stopovers at either Millers Flat or Beaumont villages. Accommodation is available at Millers Flat and Beaumont along with a range of farm home stays along the route. Accommodation is also available at either end of the trail at Lake Roxburgh village, Roxburgh and Lawrence towns.

The Clutha Gold Trail will offer a unique heritage experience along the mighty Clutha Mata-au River then through the Beaumont Gorge, branching off into the verdant valleys of the historic gold mining town of Lawrence.

To enhance the experience, stories showcasing the area’s history of early Maori moa hunters, Chinese gold miners, European pastoral farming, mining and rail histories, as well as updates on local orchards, and arts and culture will be provided.

The trail forms part of an extensive network of Great Rides in Otago. Once the trail is completed, is intended to link directly with the well-known Otago Central Rail Trail via the Roxburgh Gorge Trail, which will follow along the true right bank of Lake Roxburgh to the Roxburgh Dam. It will be achievable for most fitness levels.

Clutha Gold Trail – Part A:

Linking with the Roxburgh Gorge Trail, the first 50km section of the Clutha Gold Trail will start at the Lake Roxburgh Dam upstream from the Central Otago historic gold mining town of Roxburgh. The trail will then follow the Clutha Mata-Au River and pass through the Teviot District and Millers Flat to reach the rural town of Beaumont.

Clutha Gold Trail – Part B:

This section of trail will run from Beaumont village inland from the Clutha Mata-au River to Lawrence.

Side trails

Mountain bike riding is also available off trail on quiet gravel roads from Millers Flat to Lake Onslow and from Beaumont into the Blue Mountains and from Lawrence to Lake Mahinerangi. These 20-30km trails are at an elevation of about 1000m and are for experienced riders only.

Best time to ride

Summer and autumn offer the best riding experiences with local fruit harvesting underway and then vibrant autumn colours. Spring will appeal for green pastures and frolicking lambs, especially visible around Lawrence. Winters are dry and cold with short, sunny days, and moderate frosts averaging -1 to -3 degrees when they occur.

Getting there

The trail is accessible from either end. From Dunedin city and airport a one hour car journey along State Highway 1 via Milton to Lawrence. Alternatively access to Roxburgh is a two hour drive from Queenstown airport via Cromwell and Alexandra.

For riders wanting to attempt a near circuit of Otago, leave Dunedin via the Taieri Gorge Excursion Train, then bike the 150km Otago Central Rail Trail, then boat Lake Roxburgh or ride the Roxburgh Gorge Trail from Alexandra to join the Clutha Gold Trail at the Roxburgh hydro dam. End your bike ride at Lawrence and take a further one hour car trip to Dunedin.

Trail partners

The trail is a joint initiative of Clutha Gold Trail Charitable Trust and The New Zealand Cycle Trail project.

Click here for more information, photos and maps.