Alexandra is located at the heart of Central Otago and has a range of parks and reserves featuring small neighbourhood reserves to large sports grounds. There’s Manorburn Dam on its outskirts with its rugged sculptured landscape and opportunities for swimming and ice skating or Molyneux Park, the district’s main sports ground and venue for regional one day cricket.
Alexandra War Memorial
Located at the junction of State Highway 8 and 85, and right in the heart of the Alexandra town centre is the cenotaph and war memorial, an important land mark which commemorates the lives lost in the great war of 1914-18 and later conflicts. This is where Alexandra’s annual ANZAC day service is held.
While here, why not wander around the town and visit Pioneer Park and the Glad McArthur Gardens nearby.
Blackmore Park, located on Bridge Hill in Alexandra, is a small neighbourhood park that is very popular with locals and visitors.
The Dam was named after Josiah Lane, a cordial drinks manufacturer from Dunedin. Built in 1909, the dam once supplied water to the Golden Reach Company for its gold dredging operations on the Clutha River below.
Today Lanes Dam is a popular destination for families and children to see the ducks and Australian coots or to take a pleasant stroll around its perimeter or just to sit and enjoy the pleasant surroundings.
The park is also a popular spot for informal wedding ceremonies or photos.
Within a short stroll of the main shopping precinct on Tarbert Street in Alexandra is Centennial Park.
Developed in 2003 and designed as a natural amphitheatre, Centennial Park is named after the Centennial Baths that were once on this site. Following the significant floods of 1999, the baths had to be closed and new swimming pools were built at Molyneux Park.
Centennial Park lies within an area known as the Linger and Die. The infamous name derived from soul-destroying attempts by early miners to find gold beneath the terraces. The miners had to cope with large amounts of water pouring through the gravel into the diggings making it an almost hopeless situation.
Centennial Park is a great place to escape the bustle of the town and enjoy a picnic lunch while taking in the magnificent views of Tucker Hill and the famous Alexandra clock. You can also get on to the river walking and cycling track from this point.
In June 2015 the Vincent Community Board granted permission to the Manuherikia Food Forest Group to develop the eastern corner of the Park into a food forest.
Clyde Bridge Picnic Area
Nestled under the Clyde historic bridge on the true right hand side of the Clutha Mata-au River, this small picnic area and car park provides access to the Clyde end of the Alexandra - Clyde 150th Anniversary Walkway, more commonly referred to as the ‘River Track’.
It is a great place to picnic and enjoy views of the Clutha, to take a short stroll along the walkway or to just appreciate the masterful construction of the Clyde Bridge at close range.
Most towns have a domain or recreation ground, and Clyde is no exception.
The Clyde Domain is a large reserve where the Clyde Golf Course is located as well as the standard facilities you come to expect in a domain, such as tennis courts and sports playing field. Also located in this historic domain is the Clyde Camping Ground - a very popular destination during the summer holidays.
Running practically from one end of Clyde Township to the other, the Clyde Greenway was once part of the Central Otago railway branch line.
Closed in the 1980s, after the Clyde Dam construction was competed, the former railway corridor now provides a popular public access way and the end section to the ever popular Otago Central Rail Trail.
At the northern end of the Greenway is the former Clyde Railway Station which was built in 1907 and was restored in 2014.
The Greenway is a very popular route for locals, who enjoy taking a pleasant walk or bike to and from Clyde’s historic precinct.
Clyde Museum Reserve
Just opposite the old historic Clyde Post Office and Post Masters House on Matau Street is the former Vincent County Council building, which now houses the Clyde Museum.
Next door to the Museum is the original Court House, and on the other side is a small reserve and commemorative rose garden. Be sure to visit this historic part of Clyde.
Clyde War Memorial and Cenotaph
Just a short walk from the historic precinct is the Clyde War Memorial and Cenotaph commemorating lives lost in the Great War of 1914 to 1918.
This small peaceful and well manicured reserve is where Clyde’s annual ANZAC day service is held. Nearby are the historic Clyde Bridge, Clyde’s original Court House (now a private residence), the former Vincent Council building now housing the Clyde Museum and the original Clyde Post Office, which now operates as a restaurant.
In the heart of Earnscleugh is this delightful reserve located next to the sparkling clear waters of the Fraser River.
Fraser Domain is an idyllic location for visitors to enjoy a relaxing picnic by the river.
From here there are opportunities to explore the area more fully by heading up to the Fraser Dam or, for the more adventurous, up to the Old Man Range, or you might just fancy a stroll past the orchards nearby where you can purchase some fresh fruit.
Holloway Street Reserve
Situated at the base of the hill at the northern end of Clyde’s historic precinct is this small reserve with its miners’ memorial commemorating the gold miners who lost their lives in the 1800s.
This small reserve is an ideal spot to have lunch or rest after having a stroll around Clyde’s historic precinct.
While you are there why not walk up to the Clyde Lookout via the 500m Lookout Track that starts and finishes at this reserve, or take a walk down Miners Lane to the Clutha Mata-au River.
Lower Manorburn Dam
This absolute gem of a recreation reserve is set in the iconic hills outside Alexandra.
Set among an outstanding landscape of schist tors, this large irrigation dam built in the early 1900s is a popular spot for fishing, canoeing and swimming, ice skating and walking. Sorry, no boating is permitted.
Manorburn Dam was Alexandra’s sole ice skating venue for many years until the Ice Inline Sports Complex was built in Molyneux Park. Today, typically in early July, the Manorburn is popular with ice skaters who still want a wilderness experience.
In summer the dam is a popular swimming spot particularly for youth who take delight in jumping off the central rock formation into the deep refreshing water below. Before you jump, make sure it’s safe. Check for any logs and jump well out from the edge.
Old Bridge Road Reserve
As the name implies, this small reserve lies at the base of the road that many years ago took traffic over the historic Alexandra Bridge across the mighty Clutha Mata-au River.
Located on the southern entrance of town, just below the present bridge, the small reserve marks the start of the Frenchman Point Track, and offers the ideal vantage point to take a photo of the old bridge piers.
Access to the beginning of the Alexandra - Clyde 150th Anniversary Track, often referred to as the ‘River Track’, is also available here.
Situated in the peaceful town of Omakau, in the picturesque Manuherikia Valley is Omakau Domain. Within the Domain, there is the popular Omakau Camp Ground, a great place to stay if you want to explore the Manuherikia Valley or journey along the Otago Central Rail Trail that runs past Omakau.
The Domain features an Astro grass court, a playing field and a children’s playground, and the Omakau Golf Course is nearby. Each year the Domain hosts the Central Otago A&P Show during February.
Situated in the heart of Alexandra’s central business area, Pioneer Park is the town’s premier recreation ground.
Early pioneers established the park in the late 1860s and today it caters for informal sport, passive recreation and events.
It is also a great place to relax away from the busy central business area or from the heat of the day. Throughout the park are many mature and notable trees and the Glad McArthur Garden with its ornamental plant collections. For those wanting just to sit and relax or have lunch, the Glad McArthur Garden is an ideal place to go. Name plates were installed in late 2014 for the heritage roses as a joint project between CODC, the Central Otago branch of Heritage Roses NZ and the Alexandra Men's Shed.
The park is also home to the Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery and the i-SITE.
Gifted to the Alexandra Borough by the Richards family many years ago, this small neighborhood reserve in Alexandra is a green oasis within the built-up urban environment.
With its many mature trees, it offers plenty of shade during the hot summer days and a place to stop and reflect. Local children often use the park just to kick a ball around and travellers often stop to have a quick picnic lunch here.
If you are looking for access to the mighty Clutha Mata-au River this is where you need to head.
Named in recognition of the Alexandra Rotary Club for their involvement in the park’s development, Rotary Park is situated at the end of Dunorling Street in Alexandra near the river bank.
The Park is a great place to launch a boat or to just sit and take in the surrounding views and particularly the distinct colours of the Clutha Mata-au River.
Only a short stroll from the town centre, Rotary Park is a great spot to meet for lunch, have a picnic under one of the large willow trees or have a BBQ at the coin-operated BBQ on the site.
At the southern end of the park are the old historic Alexandra bridge piers and little further on is the meeting of the waters for the Clutha-Mata-au and Manuherikia Rivers. The Roxburgh Gorge Trail kiosk and car park are also at the southern end of the park, where volunteers form the Alexandra Rotary Club constructed a cycle ramp down the flood banks in October 2014.
Located at the park is an impressive 2.5m high steel and fiberglass sculpture commemorating the 150th anniversary of the discovery of gold in Central Otago. Unveiled during the Alexandra Thyme Festival in November 2012 the sculpture designed by Bannockburn artist Alan Waters depicts three mountain ranges with a central gold nugget.
Sarah Cameron Reserve
Sarah Cameron Reserve is a small neighbourhood reserve tucked in at the northern end of Bringan Street in Alexandra.
The reserve provides access and a popular shortcut for locals from Bringan Street through to Orchard Drive, which in turn gives access to the open space area adjacent to the Clutha-Mata-au River.
Located pretty much in the centre of Clyde is Seaton Square. The reserve is a large centrally located open space area popular with locals.
Seaton Square is also the training ground for the local volunteer fire brigade who has used this facility every week for many, many years.
Developed with the assistance of Round Table, Table Park on Ashworth Street is a popular neighbourhood reserve for nearby residences.
Mature trees offer welcome shade over the hot summer months.
Waldron Place Reserve
Hidden away off Fache Street is this little gem of a neighbourhood reserve in Clyde.
Offering the locals the benefits of a green space within an established residential area, this small reserve also provides a short cut for residents from Fache Street to Newcastle Street via Vincent Place.