Article #9: Motorhome Friendly Town in the Spotlight – ALEXANDRA


The town of Alexandra sits at the junction of two rivers, the Manuherikia and the Clutha. Surrounded by a distinctive landscape of rocky outcrops and striking high country, it is known as the hottest, driest and coldest town in New Zealand. It’s because of these extremes that Alexandra, in Central Otago, is a popular destination for visitors.

Whether it’s during the heat of summer or the cold, crisp winter days, Alexandra has four distinct seasons and is a unique place to visit at any time of the year. Visitors can enjoy the many eateries, wineries, parks, artists’ studios and the golf courses on offer.

Perched on the hill overlooking the town of Alexandra is an impressive 11 meter wide clock which lights up and night and can be seen for miles around. Sweeping views over town and the surrounding mountain ranges is a sight for sore eyes after walking up the steep track to the base of the clock.

If you love getting out into the wide, open spaces, there are many opportunities for recreation including boating on Lake Dunstan, swimming, fishing or exploring the hills and valleys by foot, mountain bike or four-wheel drive.

17 Best Things to Do in Alexandra 🚴‍♂️ [2022]

Be sure to check out the  world class trails on Alexandra’s doorstep such as the Otago Central Rail Trail which starts in nearby Clyde, and the Roxburgh Gorge trail begins near the Alexandra Bridge and connects with the Clutha Gold trail downstream near Roxburgh.

Take a drive into the Earnscleugh Valley and enjoy fruit stalls laden with in season fruit or wine tasting at a picturesque vineyard. Nearby Fruitland’s is one of Central Otago’s most photographed places during winter frosts and snows.

Alexandra is the heart of Central Otago and is situated at the junction of State Highway 8 and State Highway 85, approximately 1.5 hours from Queenstown and 2 hours from Dunedin.

The town has undergone a number of name changes over the years – originally known as Lower Dunstan, then Manuherikia and then the Junction. It was renamed Alexandra in 1863 after Princess Alexandra by John Aitken Connell who surveyed the town. The original orchards served the mining community, but it was around the turn of the century that orchardists realised the potential of the dry climate and fertile soil combined with the irrigation available from the mining races. As a result, orcharding expanded rapidly and is still a strong staple of the town’s economy today.

Alexandra is thriving with viticulture and wine-making. If you enjoy history, Alexandra is teeming with relics from its past, including mining dredges, a water wheel located outside the town’s museum and many historic buildings, railway bridges and walks.

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