Central Otago has long been a favourite holiday destination for many people in Southland and Otago who are not only attracted by the regions endless sunny days over summer but also the quaint and historic settlements that are scattered throughout the hinterland.
Roxburgh, once a bustling, busy town on the banks of the Clutha River during construction of the Roxburgh dam in the mid-1900’s is virtually surrounded by orchards growing everything from cherries to apples and apricots to nectarines.
Fruit stalls abound as you head inland from Millers Flat and if you decide to take a break in the town itself you can enjoy morning or afternoon tea or a full lunch at one of the cafes or hotels that line the main street. And if you decide to stay over for a few days Roxburgh has an excellent 18 hole golf course and numerous spots to do a bit of fishing, while the annual Roxburgh Trotting Club meeting early in the New Year is a must.
A little further up the road is Alexandra. Bordering the Manuherikia River, Alexandra is home to numerous businesses and a fistful of restaurants and cafes all offering the tourist and holidaymaker the opportunity to sample some truly wonderful food and discuss what makes this town special with the locals.
And if you happen to time your visit with one of the town’s popular Saturday craft markets in Pioneer Park you may need to make extra room in your vehicle to store all the ’goodies’ that you just couldn’t ignore. Clyde is only 10 minutes further inland and it too warrants a stopover. Here you’ll see prime examples of how the builders of yesteryear went about their craft, especially in the main business area of the town.
Nestled in the Earnscleugh Valley, Clyde is only a few minutes drive from a number of vineyards and other places of interest including gold mining remnants.
And so on to Cromwell, often referred to as the ’fruitbowl’ of the region. With a strong quartze mining history as well as a strong farming background, Cromwell has long been a favourite haunt with artists and photographers alike.