Cromwell and Alexandra In 1 Day

A Landscape Born of Gold

Ok, so in this post we are going to venture a little further afield from our luscious Queenstown to the gold mining centres of Cromwell and Alexandra - both historic townships which are becoming more and more tourist destinations (rather than ‘interesting towns you merely pass through!’) This itinerary assumes you have a car, which we suggest you rent as the Wakatipu Basin and the greater Otago region is spread out and public transport is minimum - with few connections and a restricted timetable.


In a nutshell, this would be our recommended itinerary for one day in Cromwell and Alex:

Beautiful Queenstown to Historical Cromwell 

Depart: 9am   /    Arrive:  10am     -    1 hour drive

Morning Cromwell: 10 - 12pm

Wander through the historic district and have a coffee

Historical Cromwell to Picturesque Clyde 

Depart: 12pm     /    Arrive 12:30am     - 20 - 30 minutes (traffic dependant)

12:30 - Lunch in Clyde at either the “Old Clyde Bank’ or the “Old Post Office” cafes. 12:30pm-1:30pm

Wander around Clyde: 30 minutes (1.30 - 2 pm) 


Picturesque Clyde - Gold Mining Alexandra

10 minute drive (2pm - 2.15pm)
1hr30min - 2 hours Alex. 2:15pm - 4:15pm)
Walk along the river and explore the bridges, the historic old town, or even head to the Museum for a great educational hour on the gold rush which founded the region.

Gold Mining Alexandar back to Spinnaker Bay Apartments in Queenstown

Allow 1hr20min commute back to our apartments in Queenstown. If you leave about 4:30 pm, then expect to be back to your apartments in Queenstown at approx 6 pm - ready for dinner!

Additions and Side Trips

There is however a lot to see on the way. Other deviations and additions to your day trip could include:

  • Stopping at Roaring Meg in the gorge on your way to Cromwell
  • Get an ice cream made from central Jones Family Fruit Storeotago fruit
  • Add ‘Alexandar - Roxburugh’: approx. 40km. Often overlooked, but if you have a car, and have the time, we’d suggest this just for the drive. You’ll see high station landscapes which are really only found in this region of NZ - more like a moonscape! So allow for a 2-hour deviation. Unfortunately though. it’s not a loop so you’ll be seeing the same scenery on your way home - albeit from a different direction.
  • Real Fruit ice creams on SH6 just out of Cromwell
  • Stop in Gibbston Valley on your way home for dinner or a glass of wine!

Heading to Cromwell and Alex is a fun and great day out…. There is plenty to see and do. Just make sure you drive carefully and keep your distance from the car in front!  And don't overtake - please! Practice patience and drive safely.

If there is anything more we can help you with please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to help!