"Central Otago" Alexandra by balhannah

Alexandra Travel Guide: 17 reviews and 35 photos


After visiting nearby St. Bathans, our road journey took us to Alexandra

which is located in the heart of Central otago.

What we noticed was the change in the landscape.

The hills were much drier and rocks were everywhere. It has a dry climate

and is classified as semi-desert. The hot summers and crisp cool winters

are related to the ring of mountains and high plateau country acting as a

barrier against coastal moisture-laden winds. These winds shed their

water on the peaks before reaching inland, resulting in Central Otago's

distinction as being one of the driest areas in New Zealand, hence its

official classification as semi-desert.

The dry climate has enabled relics of goldmining activities and stone

buildings to survive into the present day in remarkably good condition.

January and February are the warmest months with temperatures

reaching into the 30's and July has the lowest average.

Although the winter season is very bracing, dry conditions generally prevail

and clear sunny skies compensate for the low temperatures.

Today, its Orchards (stone fruits) and Sheep farming is what keeps the area alive.

In September each year, the Alexandra Blossom Festival is held.

Businesses originally sprang up to serve the mining community. The first

orchards were off-shoots of the market gardens which provided the miners

with fresh fruit and vegetables.

At about the turn of the century, the advantage of a dry climate, fertile

soil, and irrigation water from the mining races were recognised.

Orcharding expanded rapidly when the railway reached the town in 1906.

Nice pleasant parks, spectacular spring blossom, gardens, unique

scenery, and proximity to the Lakes and skifields of the Southern Alps

make it a pretty Town and area.

Alexandra is 190 km from Dunedin, 93 km from Queenstown,

88 km from Wanaka and 30 km south-east of Cromwell.

Alexandra is situated at the junction of State Highway 8 and provincial Highway 85.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:A change to the rest of New Zealand
  • Last visit to Alexandra: Apr 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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