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Our spectacular scenery and wildlife is spread across a myriad of landscapes. Our rocky shores, sandy beaches, wetlands, rolling hills and the Blue Mountains, make the Clutha District a magnificent place to holiday. It’s time to head South, meet the friendly people and enjoy all we have to offer.
Located on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand, Clutha is home to clear, deep rivers and undisturbed beaches. Relaxed farming communities dot the countryside with New Zealand’s largest river, the Clutha (Mata-au), weaving through the region. Clutha’s population is around 17,000 people – some of the friendliest in the country – spread over 6,363km2.
If you’re coming from the north, take in the natural and recreational splendours of Taieri Mouth, Lake Waihola and the nearby Sinclair Wetlands - a haven to rare birds with a rich cultural history. Then rest and replenish in Milton and explore the surrounding coastal settlements of Toko Mouth and Bull Creek.
Further south on the banks of the Clutha River, Kaitangata, the “Black Gold Town” is ideally situated to take advantage of boating, seasonal white baiting and angling opportunities. It has a fascinating heritage linked to its long mining history.
Head inland and soak up the history in Lawrence, birthplace of the New Zealand Gold Rush and home today to a truly fabulous range of boutiques and eateries. Try your hand at gold panning or the Clutha Gold Trail, an easy 2-day cycling experience, which showcases early Maori and gold mining heritage.
Venture towards the Blue Mountains and into West Otago with its rich agricultural heritage, and discover a place to truly escape the rat race, while taking advantage of the fabulous hunting, fishing and other outdoor opportunities.
Travel via Clinton, the five horse town, to Balclutha which is the heart of the Clutha district. Balclutha’s impressive arch bridge crosses the mighty Clutha River and the town itself offers a variety of eateries, shopping and services.
Through Balclutha and towards the coast, the region enjoys one of the best and most unspoiled natural wonderlands in New Zealand, The Catlins. See spectacular natural marvels such as Nugget Point, Purakaunui Falls and a petrified forest, and encounter wildlife such as sea lions and the rare yellow-eyed penguin. Don’t miss the charming coastal town of Kaka Point with its attractive swimming and surfing beaches, and the rural town of Owaka, which is a good base to explore more of The Catlins. Head down to Papatowai for dramatic native bush and seaside scenery.
From the moment you enter to when you leave, Clutha has something truly remarkable to offer. Leave the rest of the world behind, come and experience the welcome and wonders of the Clutha District.
Whether you love heritage, wildlife, or the great outdoors, there truly is something for everyone. New Zealand's largest river, the Clutha weaving through the region. It's time to head South, meet the friendly people and enjoy all we have to offer.