When I was thinking about the next destination from Te Anau, I was thinking I would be back tracking through Queenstown but apparently not. Somewhere new will be a bonus.
Names always have associations, Tapanui for the Tapanui Flu, known by the more formal name of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or chronic fatigue, which I suffered from in the 1990s. Tapanui is small, a place you pass through as are many of the localities in the area.
Roxburgh is apricots 🙂 I won’t be there when they are harvesting, sadly, I love apricots.The nationally famous Roxburgh Red apricot was first planted in 1866 by Joseph Tamblyn, who bought a few fruit trees from a passing swagman.
A pleasant walk around the main township exposes historical buildings, art galleries, cafes and restaurants. Enjoy one of New Zealand’s ‘world famous’ Jimmy’s pies. They must be good, it has a Facebook page and even features on Trip Advisor (note to self: closed on weekends) I seems to have eaten my way around the South Island in pies 🙂 I don’t recall having one since Dasha and I were in the South Island. I was going to stay here but there isn’t a camping ground so on to Alexandra.
Alexandra is known as the hottest, driest and coldest town in New Zealand. It’s also not far from the wettest place in New Zealand. It was settled in the 860s when gold was discovered and was extensively mined until the 1930s. Much of its history is still seen today.
The town was originally known as Lower Dunstan, then Manuherikia and then the Junction. It was renamed Alexandra in 1863 after Princess Alexandra by John Aitken Connell who surveyed the town. The original orchards served the mining community, but it was around the turn of the century that orchardists realised the potential of the dry climate and fertile soil combined with the irrigation available from the mining races. As a result, orcharding expanded rapidly and is still a strong staple of the town’s economy today.
Whilst the gold that founded the town is long gone, Alexandra is thriving with new gold – viticulture and wine-making. If you love history, Alexandra is teeming with relics from its past, including mining dredges, a water wheel located outside the town’s museum and many historic buildings, railway bridges and walks.
Accommodation: Alexandra Holiday Park
44 Manuherikia Rd
Phone: 03 448 8297
Price not given.