The ‘Gold rush’ towns: Alexandria

After Lawrence, we travelled along the River Clutha, which is one of the worlds great rivers, though little known in England.

Here we reach the great Roxburgh powerstation, built in the 1960s,  and in this panoramic view you can see the new Lake Roxburgh created by the dam, then the powerstation itself, and then the outflow along the River Clutha,  with the three special outflow channels at the bottom

This hydroelectric scheme and the second rather more controversial one further upstream at Clyde,  today generate nearly 10% of New Zealand’s electricity.

N.B. I think this picture has become a little distorted in uploading it to the web


The museum at Alexandria is a purpose-built museum outside the town, in a park. The most spectacular exhibit is this giant wheel outside the museum, which is not, as I originally thought, a water wheel, but a dredger to pan for gold mechanically.

Central Stories

This the name of the Museum is ‘Central Stories’ – a dreadful pun, but I like it!


Inside the Museum there is an interesting exposition of the complicated geology of the area, and then an exhibition of mining machinery


I didn’t think the Alexandria Museum was anywhere near as much fun as the Lawrence museum. Somehow it was very ‘professional’  – there was not a speck of dust anywhere, and everything had been beautifully conserved,  whereas at the Lawrence Museum, everything was rickety and obviously genuine and real. I think it was a mistake placing the museum outside the town —  it was away from all the life of the town. We never in fact got into the centre of the town!

After Alexandria we went on to Lake Hawea where the Higham’s have a holiday apartment, which they very generously lent us for a couple of wonderfully relaxing days. I have lots of splendid photos of Lake Hawea and the neighbouring Lake Wanaka: click here to return to the previous pages to see  some of these.


After New Zealand we flew on to Tahiti: click here for our adventures in Tahiti.



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