Dunedin to Cromwell, via Ghost Towns and Gorges
After spending at least a day exploring the beautiful university town of Dunedin with its great surfing beaches, championship golf courses and the ‘must visit’ attractions of Speight’s Brewery and Cadbury World, head south in your motorhome rental or campervan hire towards your first stop Milton.
Milton is where you will find the McNally track, a trail that takes between two and three hours to complete, which has some great views of the coastline, and will help you work up an appetite for lunch at your next stop the gold mining town of Lawrence.
When you hit Roxbourough you are half way to Cromwell, and so it makes it a good place to find somewhere suitable to spend a night or two. Roxburgh stands on the banks of the Clutha River and has some great walking and mountain bike trails, especially through the gorge. This is also a great place to stock up on fresh fruit and veggies from the roadside stalls, and you also have to try one of Jimmy’s Pies, he’s been a legend for over 40 years, but his pies are fresh!
The area around Alexandra is your next port of call, quite literally as it’s at the junction of the Clutha and Manuherikia Rivers. If you didn’t fancy the walk through Roxburgh Gorge this is where you can catch a cruise boat which will take you back down, but this time by more leisurely means. The trails especially the Alexandra to Clyde Rover track has some great views, or if you’re feeling brave then take the route across the Shaky Bridge to Clock Hill. The area is also popular with wine and history buffs, and just like Roxburgh it has some excellent cycle routes. Why not hire a bike and cycle to the Clyde Dam and Lake Dunstan where you can enjoy a whole host of water sports. By now you should be exhausted so perhaps find somewhere to stay for the night, as tomorrow you will arrive in Cromwell.
Cromwell was once a very historic town on the banks of Lake Dunstan, until it was flooded in the 1980’s. Today the historic centre has been reconstructed in the old town; there are also some gold mining sites with the remains of miner’s cottages at Bannockburn and Bendigo.
On the road again back to Dunedin, but before you get there you’ll need to pass through another former gold mining town of Ophir, the place which recorded the lowest temperature in the whole of the country at -21°C. There are many other small towns that line the route, ones that are particulary interesting are Wedderburn and Oturehua, both for their attractions, and to sample some of the locally produced goodies. What about the haunted Vulcan Hotel at St Bathans, bet you’re glad you’ve got a motorhome rental or campervan hire vehicle now aren’t you?