The mighty Clutha (Mata-Au) River is at the heart of our district and is New Zealand's largest, fastest, and most voluminous river. So fast in fact, it's comparable with world giants like the Amazon River.
Its eye-catching emerald green hue comes from glacial melting at its source above Lake Wanaka.
Once the epicentre of the 1860's Otago gold rush, it is best discovered today on the Clutha Gold Cycling and Walking Trail. Follow the river from Beaumont where it flows under the famous Balclutha Bridge, down to Kaitangata, past the island of Inch Clutha where it is released out to the Pacific Ocean.
To feel the flow up close, get on board the Tuapeka Punt, which operates daily by the rapid flow of the river. A short drive north of the Tuapeka Punt you will find the Rongahere Gorge. This is a 12,000-year-old ancient section of the Clutha River that has retained its rare mixed beech forest and is home to many important populations of native birds. For other incredible features of our district, take a look at our must-do activities in Clutha.