Alexandra is New Zealand’s ‘Blossom Town’ – a glorious symphony of colour and light, in harmony with the changing seasons.
Named after Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the town has a population of 4,620 and serves as the hub of our stone fruit and merino fine wool industry.
Alexandra is best known for the annual Blossom Festival and the Merino Shears Shearing Championships, both held in September.
More than any other town in New Zealand, Alexandra presents a true Continental climate where each season brings a surprising change in the landscape. Spring is celebrated with a profusion of blooms in the stone fruit orchards and the colourful street parade of floral floats, draws visitors by the thousands. Summer brings more crowds of holidaymakers, to soak up the sun and enjoy the wildflowers and thyme on the golden tussock hills. Autumn transforms the riverside poplars and willows into a blaze of amber and gold. Winters are cold but the rewards are still days, blue skies and a wonderful clarity of light – magical days that stay in your memory.
Alexandra was born during the 1862 gold rush and flourished for a brief period before going into decline. Revival occurred in the 1890’s gold dredging boom and prosperity now depends on the orchards and tourism.
Activities in the area focus mainly on outdoor adventure, with cycling the Central Otago Rail Trail to Ranfurly, a highlight. The old gold trails on the Old Man, Dunstan, Raggedy and Knobby Ranges, constitute mountain biker’s Heaven. Horse trekking, climbing, tramping, guided adventure tours, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and hunting are all popular here. Also gold panning, wildflower walks, 4WD touring, rabbit shooting, wine trails and skating on an Olympic-sized ice rink.
The town features a unique hillside clock, arboretum, historic Shaky Bridge, an Old Man Rock, Tucker Hill Lookout and the world’s most southerly vineyards. The Museum and Art Gallery are well worth a visit.
Dining options include mellow cafes with good food selections and a licensed restaurant in an historic house. Accommodation is plentiful with hotels, motels, a luxury lodge and a holiday park with huts, cabins and tent sites.