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Teviot Valley orchards TCO

The Teviot Valley

Fruitlands • Lake Roxburgh • Roxburgh • Ettrick • Miller's Flat

The Mighty Clutha Mata-Au River flows right through the Teviot Valley, creating a stark contrast of the blue waters, to the green patchwork of orchards, and the rugged Knobby and Old Man Ranges. 

This is true Central Otago country. It's pioneering history started with the Otago Gold Rush in the 1860s where fortunes were made and the rush lasted for over twenty years. 

After the rush was over, many miners invested in farmers and orchards, where a new kind of fortune came about. It turns out that the microclimate of the Teviot Valley was the perfect environment for produce to thrive. 

Nowadays, it's easy to see why the Teviot Valley is nicknamed the 'Fruitbowl of Central Otago'!

Teviot Valley


The Teviot Valley had the greatest number of dredges of any location along the river. There were over 80 dredges that fought with the Mighty Clutha Mata-Au River searching for gold. This peaked in 1902, and for the next 20 years, the gold dredge rush boomed. Pinders Pond was a sluicing operation site for the Molyneux Gold Mining Company in 1902. By 1920, the gold rush had dwindled down. The photo on the right here shows the last gold escort from Roxburgh to Dunedin. When the river is low on water,  you can see the remains of the Kohinoor next to Coal Creek.

Credit: NATLIB Gold Escort Roxburgh Central Otago
Roxburgh Dam

Harnessing the Mighty Clutha
Mata-Au River

After WWII, the increased demand for electricity was met with the introduction of the Roxburgh Hydro Dam. This was the first big power scheme in the South Island and was built between 1949 and 1956. Eight impressive turbines harness the Mighty Clutha's strong currents and the Roxburgh Dam can generate up to 6% of the country's annual hydro electricity generation. The Lake Roxburgh Village was established as a temporary location for dam workers with shops, hospitals, schools, churches and over 700 homes. 

Locally Grown and World Class

Hot, dry summers, cool autumns and crisp winters and very little rain has created the perfect microclimate in the Teviot Valley for fresh produce to grow and thrive. 

Apples, pears, apricots, nectarines, berries, corn, asparagus, nuts, honey, and so much more are on offer in the Teviot Valley. Flowers, such as peonies, daffodils and tulips are also grown commercially. 

The dominant produce are apples and pears, which accounts for almost 60% of the land that is planted in fruit in the Roxburgh and Ettrick areas. Fruit has become a key contributor to the local economy as Central Otago is New Zealand's third largest apple producer.  

Roxburgh Apples
Clutha River


Hiking & Biking

Get out and about in the fresh Teviot Valley air on the many cycling and walking trails around Roxburgh. There are two Great Rides that are close to the Roxburgh Township - The Roxburgh Gorge Cycle Trail & The Clutha Gold

If you're up for a hike, the steep Bullock Track offers panoramic views over the Teviot Valley. There's also the Roxburgh Dam Lookout, Comissioners Track, Grovers Hill and more!

Roxburgh Gorge Trail Spring  - Will Nelson (7).jpg
Endemic Gallery


The bright colours of the Teviot area provide the incredible inspiration for local artists. Found right on Roxburgh's main street, the Endemic Art Gallery is filled with intricate paintings from Rebecca Gilmore, and the most fascinating landscape photography from Greg Slui. 

Sheena Lassen is renown in Central Otago for her representational landscape paintings with oils. You are able to see her gallery, but please call first.

Marion Mewburn is a ceramic artist based in Millers Flat. Her 'funky and functional' teapots are far from ordinary. Her work is open to the public, but please call first.

Eating & Drinking

Roxburgh's main street is lined with places to eat and drink - Trundles on Teviot, 103 The Store, the Teviot Tea Store, Suez Pantry, and the famous Jimmy's Pies. There is never a shortage on homestyle cooking, pies, club sandwiches and classic kiwi slices. 

On the outskirts of town, road-side fruit stalls dot the state highways and you can't get much fresher than that! 

Trundles on Teviot - Roxburgh
Lake Onslow

Explore the Area

Originally built as an extra water supply for the gold mining and irrigation in the area, Lake Onslow is the product of damming the Teviot River. Found 700m above sea level, Lake Onslow is a popular brown trout fishing spot as it is scenic and relatively secluded. When travelling from Roxburgh, the best way to cross the river, turn right down Teviot Road and up Wright Road. Follow Wright Road until turning left onto Sanders Road, which leads into Lake Onslow Road. Please note: this road is not suitable for campervans, caravans or towing vehicles. 

Activities for Roxburgh

Itinerary add-ons to make most of your time in Roxburgh

Catch a Flick!

The Roxburgh Cinema is actually the longest running cinema in New Zealand! Movies have been playing here since December 1897. When the Roxburgh Dam was being built, this cinema would see busloads of dam workers filling the 250 seats two or three times a week! Still showcasing the new releases today, visiting the Roxburgh Cinema should be on every movie buff's itinerary.

Roxburgh Cinema



Ettrick was one of the first places in New Zealander where settlers planted the first apple trees. Nowadays, Ettrick is busy producing dairy products, honey and an abundance of fruit, of course! 

As you explore through Ettrick, you will notice road-side stalls with honesty boxes. Fresh and convenient, the stalls are often ten minutes away from where the produce was grown! Food miles and commercial packaging are nowhere to be seen as the humble road-side stall offers brown paper bags to load up with.

Roxburgh Apples
Benger Garden Cafe Ettrick

Benger Garden Café

Found right on the main road is the Benger Garden Café. Not only a local favourite, but also a fantastic stop for those travelling along State Highway 8. With an incredible garden on site, the Benger Garden Café is a great place to break up the drive, eat some delicious food and relax in the beautiful outdoors. Dog friendly too!

The Teviot Station Woolshed

This schist façade is all that is left of the 1870 Woolshed found between Roxburgh and Ettrick. After the gold rush, pastoral farming was the dominant industry in the valley. In its heyday, this particular woolshed would have sheltered over 8000 sheep from the scorching hot summers, and icy winters. It is estimated that the whole shed would have been 137 m long and 45 m wide! While the woolshed was destroyed in a suspicious fire in 1924, this remaining façade is a Historic Place Category 1.

Teviot Woolshed
Millers Flat Bridge

Miller's Flat

Eat & Drink

The heart of Miller's Flat is Faigan's Café. A popular stop for those biking the Clutha Gold Cycle Trail. Enjoy a wonderful selection of food and drinks -  from filo pastries, white chocolate cheesecakes, huge open sandwiches and more! 

The Millers Flat Tavern has been around since 1926. Serving locals and travellers with excellent Southern Hospitality, the Tavern offers all the best aspects of country pubs; good beer on tap, delicious full meals as well as good strong coffee. 

Faigans Cafe and Store
Millers Flat Bakehouse &  Museum

The Miller's Flat Bakehouse

The Bakehouse Museum is the home to the oldest functional brick oven in the country! Run by a group of amazing local volunteers, you can book a tour and they will bake for your group where you can see the oven in action! Your souvenir will be a homemade loaf of fresh bread made the old-fashioned way. 

Horseshoe Bend Bridge

Between Millers Flat and Beaumont, the Horseshoe Bend Bridge is found. Horseshoe Bend Bridge Walk is worth the half hour detour! 70.2 metres long, this bridge remains one of the more substantial and impressive footbridges in the country. Built in 1913 to replace a very insecure wire and chair ensemble, the Horseshoe Bridge is a reminder of the community that once was.

Horseshoe Bend Bridge
Lonely Graves

Lonely Graves

Only a few kilometres from the Horseshoe Bend turnoff, you have the option to detour to the Lonely Graves. In 1865, Gold miner William Rigney became interested in the unmarked grave and wanted to find out who was buried there. There was a lot of speculation of who it could be, but unfortunately it was never verified. William Rigney erected a makeshift tombstone and carved 'Somebody's Darling Lies Buried Here'. In 1912, Rigney was buried next to the grave, as per his wishes. His headstone reads "Here lies the body of William Rigney, the man who buried Somebody's Darling.

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