Clutha Country’s heart is the river that flows from the inland mountains, through rolling green hills and native forests before it heads out to the Pacific Ocean.
The wildlife is extraordinary and the landscapes rugged. Visitors will love to get off the beaten track to visit this stunning area in the south. Discover the gold history of the gold rush in Lawrence and experience the natural wonders of The Catlins. Enjoy fly fishing, walking, cycling or jet boating - all off this on the door step of Dunedin International Airport.
Clutha Country – “where everyone say hello”, and visitors say “I wish we could stay longer.”
Visit the nearby village of Lawrence and discover the rich history. During the gold rush and sawmilling eras the whole district rattled with the sound of diggers and wagon trains as trade routes were established through the plains and across the Clutha River. The discovery of gold at Gabriel's Gully by Gabriel Read in May 1861 led to the Central Otago gold rush. While gold had been found in Otago before, this rush was beyond expectation, with the population of the gold field rising from almost nothing to around 11,500 within a year, twice that of Dunedin at the time. Lawrence is also the home of New Zealand’s national anthem, where local school teacher, John Woods, created the score to a Thomas Bracken poem to compose “God Defend New Zealand” in 1876. Clutha Gold Trail a new addition to Nga Haerenga - the New Zealand Cycle Trail. It starts from beautiful, historic Lawrence, travelling through lush green rolling farmland, into the stunning Beaumont Gorge. Here it follows the mighty Clutha Mata-au River through to Commissioner Flat just below the Roxburgh Hydro Dam. A link can be made, at the Roxburgh Dam end, to the Roxburgh Gorge Trail. This travels some 34km (including a river crossing by water taxi) into Alexandra where a connection can be made to the Otago Central Rail Trail.