Alexandra is the Spring Blossom Festival town in the golden heart of Central Otago.
This attractive town nestles at the head of Lake Roxburgh and is affectionately called ‘Alex’, by the locals. It is the commercial centre for a prosperous fruit growing and farming area. The world’s finest merino wool is produced here and in September each year the annual Golden Shears Championships are held.
This is an area of fascinating contrasts. Alexandra is an oasis of flourishing orchards among barren hills and mounds of tailings from the mining era. The surrounding high country is red and brown tussock, and has unusual formations of schist rock. Gold bearing rivers irrigate fertile valleys where stone fruit and grapevines are grown. Early colonial buildings and modern shopping plazas stand side by side in the centre of town.
The special appeal of Central Otago is its unique blend of climate and landscape. This is the only part of New Zealand that has a continental climate. In summer visitors enjoy sunny days and high temperatures. In autumn the willow and poplar trees are ablaze with burnished gold and amber. In winter cool days bring clear blue skies. In spring blossoms burst forth to form a dazzling landscape, welcoming the festival crowds.
Pioneering relics in the Historical Museum and Art Gallery portray Alexandra’s colourful history. Tucker Hill lookout provides an excellent bird’s-eye view of the town and the ‘Shaky Bridge’ is an original suspension bridge that once carried bullock wagons. The Hillside Clock, Arts and Crafts Studio and the Dredge Tailings Reserve are other interesting places to explore.
The area is heaven for mountain bike, horse trek and four-wheel drive enthusiasts. The ultimate challenge is the rugged mountain road known as the Dunstan Trail. Tussock covered rolling hills provide thrilling rides over the Old Man, Raggedy and Knobby Ranges. In winter local lakes become ice skating rinks, and snow skidoo and cross-country ski trips can take you high into the mountains. All year round trout fishing is outstanding here.
Discover this special place and you will take home a part of Central Otago in your heart.