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Clutha Gold Cycle Trail

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by Lucy (subscribe)
Welcome to Lucy's collection of ideas and adventures designed to inspire others to get off the couch and explore our local environment.
Published March 14th 2016
Cycling through gold rush history
Clutha River, Clutha Gold Trail,
Horseshoe Bend Bridge - image taken by writer

Clutha Gold Cycle Trail is a Grade 2 (Easy) 73 kilometre bike trail which follows the Clutha Mata-au River from Lake Roxburgh Village to the historic gold mining town of Lawrence. The cycle trail officially opened in 2013 and is very well maintained as part of the Great Rides network throughout the Central Otago Region. It links directly with the Roxburgh Gorge Cycle Trail, which links directly with the Otago Central Rail Trail.

Clutha Gold Trail, Cycling,
Clear signage - image taken by writer

The Clutha Gold Cycle Trail begins at Commissioners Flat, Roxburgh, 500 metres below its huge hydro electric dam, and continues to follow the Clutha Mata-au River as it flows south east. This part of the Teviot Valley is filled with stone fruit orchards (plentiful during summer) and the gorge itself contains many remnants of Chinese rock shelters, a reminder of the gold rush days.

Clutha Gold Trail, horseshoe bend bridge,
Millers Flat Bridge - image taken by writer

The Bridge Hotel at Millers Flat is located right next to the historic blue bridge, which is an ideal spot to stop for lunch or dinner. Further along the gorge, Horseshoe Bend Bridge is another historic bridge well worth crossing over, and nearby, there are the "lonely graves" - anonymous miners' graves to investigate as well. The Clutha Gold Cycle Trail continues along the stunning Beaumont Gorge before passing through the 440 metre Big Hill Tunnel.

Clutha River, Clutha Gold trail, cycling,
Clutha River - image taken by writer

The trail finishes at the small town of Lawrence, which was once the site of one of the world's largest gold rushes. In 1861, it was filled with 11 500 eager gold miners. Today, it is still possible to visit Gabriel's Gully and pan for gold there.
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Why? Cycle along the Clutha River
Where: Roxburgh to Lawrence, Otago
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