"Alexandra" Alexandra by fishandchips

Alexandra Travel Guide: 17 reviews and 35 photos

Early Days

Alexandra or ?Alex? is located in Central Otago on the banks of the Clutha River and Manuherikia River. The town was founded during the Central Otago goldrush in the 1860s, and was named after the new Princess of Wales. Thousands of miners travelled to the district along the Old Dunstan Road from the Taieri (the entire route can still be followed from Clarks Junction to Alexandra) in the hope of striking it rich. This resulted in the development of Alexandra in its early days. Alexandra went through several name changes "Lower Township"(The "Upper Township" was Dunstan, now Clyde.), the "Junction Township", and "Manuherikia" before settling on its current name in 1863. In its early days, Alexandra was an offshoot of Clyde but it made its own name in the dredging boom of the 1890's.

Items of Note

There are several notable things to go and have a look at.
The Clock on the Hill can be seen for many miles and is located above Alex. The construction of the clock started in June 1966 and delivered a clock 11 metres in diameter and 7.3m in length firmly. At night the time can be clearly read up to eight kilometres away.
The Shaky Bridge sits over the Manuherikia River and has been there since 1879. The bridge was once used by wagons and horses though today is for foot traffic only.
The Old Bridge is now just a couple of piers and was opened in 1882. The total height of the piers is 29.48 metres with 6.8 metres lying beneath the present water level. The construction of the bridge was a task of great magnitude when you consider the size and the current of the river and the tools available at the time of construction. The very first method of crossing the river was a packing case on a cable. This method was superseded by a punt on two attached pontoons which ferried people across for what they considered was an exorbitant toll fare.
The Old Courthouse on Centennial Avenue is now a very nice cafe and is one of the oldest stone buildings in Alexandra, the old courthouse played an important part in the day to day life of the Central Otago goldfields. It opened in 1879 and operated until 1972.
The Central Otago Rail Trail is one notable item of interest and brings in a large number of tourists. There are plenty of local places to hire bikes and these are often all booked out in the months of February and March (some have up to 400 bikes for hire).
The 150th Anniversary Walk winds its way along the banks of the Clutha between Alex and Clyde. It's a nice walk and a really good bike ride. If you link this up with the Rail Trail then you've got a nice 21km circuit.

These days

The town is similar to many smaller NZ towns with its selection of shops, cafes and drinking place. There are a couple of nice parks, a good swimming pool and very nice golf course to keep you occupied. As Alex is the hub of 3 different routes (west to Queenstown, South to Dundein and North east to Ranfurly) you have planty of day trip options if you make Alexandra your home base.

  • Last visit to Alexandra: Mar 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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