73 KM | Grade 1-2 | 1-3 Days
Open year-round, this smooth and wide, well-formed trail requires moderate fitness. Whether you walk it or ride it, this trail is full of variety – from undulating to flat to meandering; there is a journey of discovery around every corner.
No matter which end you start, this trail offers a real rural heartland experience combined with a wealth of gold mining history.
You will get the sense there are many adventurous souls who have travelled this path before – Maori, the pioneering run holders, the miners and the Chinese.
Be immersed in a tapestry of diverse landscapes from seductively rugged semi-arid dry lands through to lush green contoured farmlands. Almost two thirds of the trail travels alongside the powerful Clutha Mata Au River and its distinctive turquoise colour. And then most of all there are genuinely friendly communities who will take the time to say hello.
The Clutha Gold Trail will take you on a journey of discovery, offering a unique heritage experience set within diverse and stunning landscapes, and with the trails proximity to the Otago Central Rail Trail and Roxburgh Gorge Trail you will have the opportunity to experience even more of Central Otago’s unique scenery and hospitality.
Learn more, and plan your ride below; or visit www.cluthagold.co.nz
Clutha Gold Trail Sections
Commissioners Flat to Roxburgh Town - 9.4km
This section of the trail takes you alongside the mighty Clutha Mata-au River - its distinctive turquoise colour, constant flow and ever changing moods become interwoven with your experience. Look out for signs of the original search for gold and imagine what the hardy settlers faced in the early days.
As you travel downstream you cannot miss the orchards on both sides of the valleys creating a splash of colour at every season.
Be sure to cross the bridge into Roxburgh township - whether its just to rest and relax, take on refreshments or seek out the towns creative arts and sculptures.
Roxburgh to Millers Flat - 19.6km
Meander along the riverside and enjoy a break in your journey at Pinders Pond, 5km beyond Roxburgh. Pinders Pond is a favourite safe swimming spot in the summer for the locals, as although it might look tempting on a hot day - swimming is not recommended in the swift currents of the Clutha Mata-au river.
There are many things to look out for along this part of the trail, including stunning rock formations both on the hillsides and in the river, orchards, and the largest stand of regenerating native Kanuka (tea tree).
Millers Flat to Beaumont - 24.7km
This section of the trail takes you from the pastoral farm land and orchards around MIllers Flat through the remoteness of Beaumont Gorge where the trail is a mix of quiet roads and trail on the old railway line, before re-emerging beside the main highway at the Beaumont Bridge.
Visit the Historic Horseshoe Bend Bridge, and for an added story take a short detour from the Horseshoe Bend Bridge car park up the road to the site of the Lonely Graves.
Beaumont to Lawrence - 19.4km
From Beaumont you start the climb towards the highest point of the trail and through the Big Hill Tunnel. After the tunnel you descend into lush green farmland connecting with and crossing the highway several times.
There are many reminders of the area's history along the route, including discovery of gold, milling flax fibre for rope making around Evans Flat and the arrival of the Chinese prospectors to the goldfields.
The Clutha Gold Trail finishes (or begins) its journey in Lawrence - Otago's first gold rush town.
Clutha Gold Trail Map
The Clutha Gold Trail can be cycled or walked from either direction. Download the Map and Learn about the sections of the trail and how they can be enjoyed.