Lake Roxburgh - Doctors Point

The walk down the river from Alexandra is a complete contrast to the walk up the river to Clyde. Here a steep rocky gorge, with no other access than the old bridle path, winds down beside what are now the upper reaches of Lake Roxburgh. This is a rugged, lonely landscape that has an ethereal beauty that envelops the visitor in its own world. Here and there relics of the past may be seen but otherwise you are on your own! 

View of Lake Roxburgh on the Doctors Point track.Start the track at Graveyard Gully, reached via Little Valley Road off Tarbert Street. Here an old cemetery with stone walls commemorates early settlers and gold seekers who died in the area. Follow the marked track past the interpretation board around the back of the orchard overlooking the town and head down into the gorge. There is quite a current and the ‘lake’ down through this gorge is simply spectacular. 

The first 4 km to Butchers Point and stone hut remains at Colemans Gully is a well defined track with good overall grade. If a shorter walk is preferred this is an excellent place to stop as there are interesting remains of dwellings and gold workings to be seen. Return the way you came for an 8 km walk. 

From Butchers Point the track becomes wilder and more challenging, although still easy to follow as there is only one way through this gorge! Along the way there are historic sites and at Doctors Point, the gold workings are an extensive legacy of times gone by. A puzzling feature of the gorge is the concrete posts set at regular intervals. These locate the lakebed profile and are used to measure the silting in the lake. 

The full track to Doctors Point and return is 20 km and with time to explore will take a good day to complete. The shorter 8 km to Butchers Point and return will provide a wonderful 3-4 hour experience in the wilds of Central Otago. Return the way you came. This is a remote area and there is little shelter and no water. Be prepared and be self-sufficient! Extreme care must be taken when traversing bluffs close to Doctors Point. The track is very narrow here with vertical rock faces down to the lake.

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