Cromwell Tourist Attractions
30km northwest of Alexandra, at the junction of the Clutha (coming from Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea) and the Kavarau (coming from Lake Wakatipu), is the new township of Cromwell, built here in substitution for the old one at the north end of Cromwell Gorge, now submerged by the waters of Lake Dunstan.
Kawarau Gorge Mining Centre
8km west of Cromwell on Highway 6 is the Kawarau Gorge Mining Centre (part of the Otago Goldfields Park), where visitors are introduced to the laborious processes of gold working.
White-water enthusiasts will find plenty of scope on the Kawarau River, whether in kayaks, rubber dinghies or jet boats. The supreme experience for the daring, however, is a bungee jump from the Kawarau Bridge.
Old Cromwell Historic Village
The most important buildings from the old gold-miners' settlement, founded in the 1860s, have been re-erected as Old Cromwell Historic Village in Melmore Terrace. The Cromwell Museum has interesting material on the history of the town.
100km northeast of Alexandra, in the barren Maniototo plain, is Naseby. Once an important gold town, with anything up to 5000 prospectors grubbing for gold in the area from 1863 to the 1930s, it now has a population of about 150.To supply the gold miners with the water they needed long water channels were constructed, and these are now used for irrigation. Some old buildings still survive to recall the great days of the past, such as the Briton Hotel, a brick building of 1863, St George's Church (1865; Anglican) and the Athenaeum, (1865). The Maniototo Early Settlers Museum is housed in a building of 1878.There are pleasant walks to the Welcome Inn, on a hill above the little town, and to Naseby Forest (25 sq.km), planted with imported conifers (Douglas fir, larch, pine).
60km northeast of Alexandra, at the foot of the Dunstan Range, is St Bathans, another gold-miners' town that has lost its one-time importance. Of its once numerous hotels there remains only the Vulcan Hotel (1869). Other old buildings are St Alban's Church (1882; Anglican), St Patrick's Church (1892; RC), and the rather showy post office with the postmaster's house.
The Blue Lake occupies a great trench excavated in the search for gold, 800m long, 50m across and over 50m deep. The deep blue color of the water is clouded only by the inflow of surface water.