MHF Town
Central Otago District Council

Alexandra is situated at the junction of two rivers, the Manuherikia and the mighty Clutha Mata-au. Surrounded by a distinctive ‘moonscape’ of rocky tors and stark 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.

High on the hill overlooking the town of Alexandra is an 11 meter wide clock which when lit up at night is visible for miles around. Panoramic views over town and the surrounding mountain ranges is the reward for walking up the steep track to the base of the clock.

If you enjoy 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.

There are three world class trails on Alexandra’s doorstep - the iconic Otago Central Rail Trail 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.

The Alexandra Blossom Festival held in spring every year is the longest running festival of its type in New Zealand. 2016 celebrate's its 60th year. 

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.

Alexandra has a golden history dating back to the 1860s when gold was discovered and extensively mined until the 1930s.

The town was 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.

Whilst the gold that founded the town is long gone, Alexandra is thriving with new gold - viticulture and wine-making. If you love 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.

Central Otago District Council, 1 Dunorling Street, Alexandra | Ph: 03 440 0056

Noel Leeming
Noel Leeming