Why Walk From Alexandra to Clyde?
Maybe you don’t have a car, or you ate too much Christmas dinner and need to burn some calories. Or maybe you heard that the river walk from Alexandra to Clyde is one of the top things to do in Central Otago. Whatever the reason, the Millennium Track between Alexandra and Clyde is a great half-day hike that is fun to do any season.
This hike starts or ends in Alexandra, one of the biggest towns in Central Otago. It’s a nice town and is far less touristy than some of the regions more popular destinations. There’s a big supermarket (which is handy if you’re eating on a budget) and a few historic buildings, but Alexandra’s biggest strength is its surrounding countryside, which features heaps of things to see and do. One of those is the hike to Clyde along the Clutha River (another is the hike up Flat Top Hill, shown in the photo below).
The track between Alexandra and Clyde starts close to the big bridge in town (and the remains of another bridge). It’s fairly easy for most of the way and shouldn’t pose too many problems for moderately fit people. Along the way you can stop and relax by the river — bring a picnic if you think you might get hungry! It’s really peaceful down by the Clutha River (assuming the weather is good) — this is one hike that shouldn’t be rushed. Central Otago can be scorching in the summer months so thankfully this track is mostly shaded.
What can you see along the 11.5 km track? There are countless river vistas and some evidence of Central Otago’s gold mining past — it’s not the most varied of walks but it’s nice all the same. You can also cycle this track, which will obviously save you a lot of time.
Central Otago is a great place to visit when the autumn leaves cover the ground. I haven’t done this hike during autumn (the leaves are best seen in April and May) but it’s on my to-do list.
Clyde marks the end (or the start) of this popular Central Otago hike. Once you cross the big red bridge you’re nearly in the centre of town, where you’ll find a small collection of old buildings dating back to the late 1800s, when this region was one of the most prosperous in the country. There’s also a massive dam and some viewpoints just outside of town.
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