A Travel Guide to Alexandra and Clyde
Check your tyres, because Alexandra and Clyde are a mecca for cycling! Not one but two (soon to be three) of the New Zealand Great Rides are here, offering easy-going trails through historical towns established during the Otago Gold Rush, along vibrant river gorges and through vast deserts and mountains. Just about anyone can tackle the trails here, but if two-wheeled fun isn’t your sort of fun, then you have boutique wineries, living museums, river cruises or just bloody good weather to keep you elated!
Alexandra and the main hub of Central Otago, while nearby the small town of Clyde looks like something from the history books, swapping gold mining for quaint cafes and a healthy dose of bike shops.
While the surrounding landscape may look dry with sun-drenched mountains in one of the driest climates in the county, the vibrant blue waters of the Clutha and Manuherikia rivers adds a striking contrast to this stunning centre of the South Island.
So whether you’re a couple or a family; a backpacker or seeking a luxury escape, we’ll guide you through the ideal visit to Alexandra and its surrounding villages with this complete travel guide to Alexandra and Clyde.
Fast Facts About Alexandra and Clyde
Location: In the centre of the Otago region in the South Island.
Climate: Daily average temperature – 10.6°C/51.2°F, yearly average rainfall – 434mm/17.1″
Find out more in What is the Weather Like in New Zealand?
Time zone: NZST / GMT+12/+13
How to get to Alexandra and Clyde: Alexandra and Clyde are connected to the rest of the South Island via State Highway 8. The closest international airport is Queenstown Airport (one hour drive), which also has frequent domestic flights from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Alexandra and Clyde are on the main national bus route, which you can find more information about in Bus Networks in New Zealand.
Alexandra and Clyde for Budget Travellers
While highlights like the full Otago Central Rail Trail and Roxburgh Gorge Trail (with a mandatory jet boat ride in the middle) are a little out of some travellers’ budgets, there’s more to discover in Alexandra and Clyde. Hiring a bike for a day ride can cost around NZ$40, while some of the other appeals are doing wine tastings or simply exploring the historical gold rush towns of the area with their distinct schist architecture. A stay in the motels, hotels and affordable homestays will also help keep the cost to a minimum. So check out The Guide to Alexandra & Clyde on a Budget to plan a fun and affordable trip to Central Otago.
Budget Activities in Alexandra and Clyde
- Hike up to the Alexandra Mountain Clock
- Check out the Central Stories Museum & Art Gallery
- Do a free wine tasting at the Grey Ridge Vineyard
- Do the Kamaka Walkway or Jolendale Park walk
- Enjoy a boutique cinema experience
For more details on each activity and more, check out the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Alexandra & Clyde.
Budget Accommodation in Alexandra and Clyde
Alexandra and Clyde host various cheap pub hotels, motels and homestays. A couple of holiday parks also exist in Alexandra, while the backpacker hostels tend to house seasonal fruit picking staff. Learn more in the 10 Best Budget Accommodation in Alexandra & Clyde.
Alexandra and Clyde for Luxury Travellers
Of course, riding one of the New Zealand Great Rides is a worthy addition to a luxury trip to Alexandra and Clyde, especially as local cycle operators can organise all the logistics, including luggage transfers and dinner reservations along the trails! But Alexandra and Clyde also invite you to relax with a glass in hand at one of the boutique wineries or explore the desert-like scenery and rivers via 4WD safaris and river cruises. Complete your visit with a night in historical lodges or vineyards and you have the ultimate Central Otago getaway. Plan yours with The Luxury Guide to Alexandra & Clyde.
Premium Tours and Activities in Alexandra and Clyde
- Enjoy a premium experience on the Otago Central Rail Trail or Roxburgh Gorge Trail
- Lap up the scenery on a river cruise or jet boat tour
- Tour Alexandra’s wineries and vineyards
- Go off-roading on a 4WD safari
- Tee off at Alexandra’s and Roxburgh’s golf courses.
For more details on each experience and more, take a look at the 6 Luxury Activities in Alexandra & Clyde.
Luxury Accommodation in Alexandra and Clyde
Rooms boasting historical features in fabulous 150-year-old architecture and lavish stays on vineyards: a luxury stay in Central Otago strikes the right balance of historical and foodie elements. Find out more in the 5 Best Luxury Accommodation in Alexandra & Clyde.
Alexandra and Clyde for Families
A family trip to Alexandra and Clyde is like going on a summer vacation, with these towns boasting the driest climate in the country. Families can be as active or relaxed as they choose, with a range of experiences to pick from between the family-friendly cycle trails and raspberry picking at the Monte Christo Raspberry Cafe. Even in winter, the fun continues with the outdoor ice rink coming alive in one of the very few places to enjoy this activity in New Zealand. So plan the best trip for your tribe with The Guide to Alexandra & Clyde for Families.
Family-friendly Activities in Alexandra and Clyde
- Ride the family-friendly cycle trails
- Pick raspberries at the Monte Christo Raspberry Cafe
- Cross the Shaky Bridge and climb up the hill to the Alexandra Clock
- Explore Jolendale Park and Blackmore Park
- Go ice skating in winter.
For more details on each experience and others, see the 9 Things to Do in Alexandra & Clyde with Kids.
Family Accommodation in Alexandra and Clyde
Alexandra and Clyde have a healthy number of motels with self-catering facilities and other amenities that families find handy. However, families seeking more privacy will find a more homely experience in local holiday homes. Check them out in the 10 Best Family Accommodation in Alexandra & Clyde.
Alexandra and Clyde for Couples
Home to some of the most romantic-looking towns in the country, especially Clyde and Ophir with their cute gold rush architecture, as well as fields of vineyards and orchards soaking in the balmy weather, Alexandra and Clyde offer a surprising alternative retreat for couples who may want to escape the hustle and bustle of the nearby Queenstown and Wanaka. It’s a place where you can find the right balance of action and relaxation, with amazing cycle trails combined with gorgeous wineries. Plan your romantic getaway, anniversary or honeymoon with The Honeymoon Guide to Alexandra & Clyde.
Things to Do in Alexandra and Clyde for Couples
- Cycle one of the Great Rides together
- Visit the romantic historical towns of Clyde or Ophir
- Enjoy a stroll through Jolendale Park
- Bask in the vineyard scenery with a glass in hand at Alexandra’s wineries
- Indulge in a date night at one of the boutique cinemas.
For more details on each experience, see the 6 Romantic Activities in Alexandra & Clyde for Couples.
Romantic Accommodation in Alexandra and Clyde
Take your pick from luxury lodges, self-catering chalets, vineyard stays and B&Bs with the freshest breakfasts straight from the orchards. Check out Central Otago’s most endearing accommodation in the 10 Best Romantic Accommodation in Alexandra & Clyde.
Alexandra and Clyde for Foodies
With its warm and dry microclimate, Alexandra and Clyde are in an ideal position for vineyards and fruit orchards. What’s more, the towns are home to passionate locals who have established wineries, breweries, berry attractions and high-quality restaurants. Experience the flavours of Central Otago through wine tours and tasting venues and/or incorporate the local cuisine into your accommodation, with vineyard stays and holiday homes nestled in orchards. So plan a trip surrounding gastronomical experiences with The Foodie Guide to Alexandra & Clyde.
Food Tours and Activities in Alexandra and Clyde
- Tour the boutique wineries of Alexandra
- Sample craft beer at the local breweries
- Pick your own raspberries or enjoy afternoon tea at Monte Christo Raspberry Cafe
- Check out the Alexandra Friday Food and Produce Market
- Enjoy local cuisine at the restaurants and cafes.
For more details on each experience, check out the 5 Things to Do in Alexandra & Clyde for Foodies.
Foodie Accommodation in Alexandra and Clyde
Food and fine wine can be a large aspect of your stay in Alexandra and Clyde, especially considering some of the lodgings here are in vineyards and orchards. Not to mention, the B&Bs go above and beyond with freshly baked and cooked breakfast with produce almost always coming from their back garden. So choose your accommodation with the 10 Best Accommodation in Alexandra & Clyde for Foodies.