Originally planning to stay for a few months, Jude fell in love with Clutha and hasn’t looked back – that was 30 years ago.

“The people here are amazing. Very rarely do you come across a bad person. Everyone is so friendly and the whole countryside is spectacular - it’s untapped this area. Where else would you want to live? Clutha has just got so much to offer.”

Jude and partner Mark have a variety of accommodation options in the area, including Mata-Au Lodge, a five-bedroom lodge overlooking the Clutha River in Beaumont, as well as Lawrence Townhouses in the heart of the gold rush town. They’ll even transfer you to one of the many spectacular bike trails in the morning, where, whether you’re young or a bit more seasoned, you’ll be greeted by vistas unlike any in New Zealand. 

“The cycle trail here goes from Roxburgh all the way into Lawrence right next to the river, and it’s some of the best scenery you’ll ever see. We transfer people up to 80 years old - we’ve taken some 84-year olds on this trail here up the Waipori road!

“You can go anywhere around the Clutha District, and don’t need a lot of money to ride this trail, there’s lots of cheap accommodation along the way. You can do it expensive, you can do it cheap, just come and do it!”

Jude knows all the local stories and will let you in on the best kept secrets while she’s ferrying you to and from the trails.

“The music for the national anthem was composed in Lawrence by John Joseph Woods.

“There were lions that escaped in Lawrence, from the circus. The guy hadn’t locked them up properly apparently and they got out. There’s a guy who lives next to me in Lawrence and he’s actually got the claw marks on his face. The lions both got shot and now they’re in the museum in Dunedin – it’s an amazing story really!” 

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