Family Activities in Alexandra and Clyde
The dry sunny climate of Alexandra and Clyde not only make the neighbouring Central Otago towns an appealing year-round destination for families but there’s a whole list of things to do in Alexandra and Clyde for kids. And, what do you know? We have that list right here! Check it out for family activities in Alexandra and Clyde.
For more family trip-planning advice, check out The Guide to Alexandra & Clyde for Families. Plus, find a place to stay in the 10 Best Family Accommodations in Alexandra & Clyde.
1. Ride the Family-Friendly Cycle Trails
Adventure can be found in a multitude of ways in Alexandra and Clyde, but one of the most popular ways is to hit the bike trails. Two of the cycle trails here are part of the New Zealand Great Rides and riding sections of them make for a fun family outing.
The Otago Central Rail Trail begins in Clyde and, while the whole thing is 152km (94 miles), the first section offers a family-friendly ride between Clyde and Chatto Creek. For families with older children, the Roxburgh Gorge Trail takes you through canyon landscape with vibrant green waters, split into three different sections with a jet boat ride in the middle.
Alternatively, the 150th Anniversary River Track between Alexandra and Clyde is nothing to scoff at, following the blue waters of the Clutha River and passing abandoned mining relics on a 12km (7-mile) easy-going ride. Hire bikes, including kids’ bikes, and transport from Central Cycle Trail Co. (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) or Bike it Now (on Viator and Tripadvisor). Learn more about the cycle trails in the 5 Best Bike Trails in Alexandra & Clyde.
Location: Otago Central Rail Trail – Starts Albert Drive or State Highway 8, Clyde. Roxburgh Gorge Trail – Starts southern historic bridge pier, Alexandra. 150th Anniversary River Track – Starts Clyde river bridge.
2. Pick Raspberries at the Monte Christo Raspberry Cafe
Another part of Alexandra and Clyde’s identity is its fruit and grape-growing industry, where the most family-friendly way to get involved is by picking your own raspberries at the Monte Christo Raspberry Cafe. The cafe, which specialises in berry fruit desserts, homemade scones, Southland cheese rolls, real fruit ice cream, is set in a pretty flower garden with plenty for kids to explore. Plus, there’s a family play area with mini golf, puzzle mats, giant board games, a miniature train and much more. See more experiences similar to this in the 5 Things to Do in Alexandra & Clyde for Foodies.
Location: 100 Springvale Road, Clyde.
3. Cross the Shaky Bridge and Climb Up the Hill to the Alexandra Clock
A great way to start your visit to Alexandra is with a short climb to the Alexandra Clock! The Clock on the Hill is not only a striking timepiece but offers excellent views of Alexandra and its vibrant rivers. The steep walk only takes about 10 minutes and starts from the historic Shaky Bridge, which is another aspect of Alexandra that kids tend to love!
Location: Graveyard Gully Road, Alexandra.
4. Do a Jet Boat Tour Down the Roxburgh Gorge
Whether you join them as part of the Roxburgh Gorge Trail or for one of their scenic thrill rides, Beaumont Jet is another fantastic option for families. Jump in the high-speed jet boat powered by the New Zealand invention of a jet propulsion system for a journey down the Clutha River. There are two types of tours to choose from, the Adventure Tour, which incorporated history, sightseeing and 360º spins, and the Eco Tour, taking you and your family to a special conservation island to look out for rare birds, insects and plants. See how this jet boat compares with others across the country in the 17 Places to Jet Boat in New Zealand.
Location: Alexandra Boat Ramp, Dunorling Street, Alexandra.
5. Explore Jolendale Park and Blackmore Park
Complement your Alexandra and Clyde itinerary with some of the free family-friendly activities, such as visiting Jolendale Park, a six-hectare arboretum home to a wide variety of exotic and native trees, as well as schist outcrops, sculpted walkways and a reservoir – all making for a fun environment for kids to explore. Nearby is also Lanes Dam and Blackmore Park and its picnicking area with a children’s playground. See more activities like this in the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Alexandra & Clyde.
Location: Jolendale Park – Peterson Place. Lanes Dam and Blackmore Park – 45 Aronui Road, Alexandra.
6. Do a 4WD Safari of Scenic Gorges and Lookouts
An easy way for families to enjoy the rocky outcrops, tussock landscapes and surrounding mountains and rivers is on a 4WD safari with Rock & Tussock Safaris. The off-roading tour operator offers a range of scenic tours, whether it’s up the Old Man Range ascending to 1695m (5,560ft) or seeing The Lord of the Rings scenery on the Poolburn Dam Tour. Tours last anything from 45 minutes to five hours. Bespoke tours are also available. Discover more activities similar to this in the 6 Best Luxury Experiences in Alexandra & Clyde.
Location: Pick-ups from Alexandra and Clyde included.
7. Go Ice Skating in Winter
If you happen to be visiting Alexandra and Clyde in winter, treat the kids to a skate at Ice Inline Alexandra. Every winter, the recreational grounds of Centennial Avenue come alive with an ice rink offering public sessions for ice skating, curling and ice hockey. During the school holidays, they also have a holiday program for the kids.
Location: Centennial Avenue, Alexandra.
8. Check Out the Central Stories Museum & Art Gallery
Yes, you can even find a small-town museum in Alexandra, which is a great backup if you find yourself in Alexandra on a rainy day (not that that happens too often, as Alexandra has one of the driest climates in the country). Take the kids to the Central Stories Museum & Art Gallery to learn about the region’s geology, early settlers, social history, gold mining, farming, orcharding, viticulture and more. A highlight for kids is trying to spot the Otago skinks in the enclosure. What’s more, the museum is free!
Location: 21 Centennial Avenue, Alexandra.
9. Watch a Movie at the Central Cinema
Beside the museum, you’ll find Central Cinema. This boutique cinema screens a range of mainstream, art-house, documentaries, and, of course, children’s films. Sit back in the comfortable stadium seating in a charming cinema run by volunteers.
Location: 21 Centennial Avenue, Alexandra.
More Things to Do in Alexandra and Clyde with Kids
That’s it for our list of things to do in Alexandra and Clyde with kids. For more experiences that might not necessarily fall under the “family” category but are still fun to do, check out the following:
- 10 Fun Things to Do in Alexandra
- 9 Cool Things to Do in Clyde
- The Complete Travel Guide to Alexandra & Clyde
Finally, plan more experiences for your road trip using the 20 Best Things to Do on the South Island with Kids.