Alexandra and Clyde
Alexandra is the main service town for Central Otago and was founded in the early 1860’s. Back then, the town was known as Lower Dunstan but was renamed Alexandra in 1863, when Queen Victoria’s eldest son married Princess Alexandra of Denmark.
Gold mining boomed in Alex until the early 1900s when the orchards that fed the miners became the dominant industry. Today, as well as the amazing stone fruit grown around Alex thanks to its dry climate, fertile soil and irrigation from the mining water races, viticulture and wine production has flourished and no trip to this part of Central Otago is complete without tasting some of the world-renowned pinot noir.
Wine tasting aside, Alexandra is a great hub for cyclists and has direct access to three of New Zealand’s Great Rides: The Otago Central Rail Trail, Roxburgh Gorge Trail and the Lake Dunstan Trail which starts just a short ride along the Clutha River in Clyde.
For those that like more technical, gravity assisted, downhill mountain biking, then the Matangi Station Mountain Bike Park is a must do.
Like Alexandra, Clyde is steeped in rich history dating back to the gold rush, but today you’re more likely to see the streets lined with cyclists rather than miners. The town has a distinct heritage feel with its schist stone walls and is a great place to stop and relax on the touring route for brunch, lunch or dinner.
Clyde is also the starting point for NZ’s newest Great Ride, the impressive Lake Dunstan Trail, as well as the western end of the Otago Central Rail Trail.
From hardcore downhill charging.....
.....to relaxing rides through the vines. Queenstown has it all for cyclists.
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