Cromwell, New Zealand

Cromwell is another town built on the goldrush, and much of it's history is now regrettably submerged in Lake Dunstan (an artifical lake from more recent times). The road from Alexandra to Cromwell is the most expensive in the country, and in places is the third or fourth shift of the road up the side of the gorge during the building of the dam and stabilising of the hillside. One great loss as a result of the lake is the orchards that lined the old roadside (now submergred).

Cromwell itself sufferred a similar fate. Old Cromwell township is now submerged, including a number of original and historic buildings. The new Cromwell township is lakeside, and I'm sure some buildings have managed to both stay where the are, and shift across the other side of town at the same time (getting a prime lakeside position), due to the towns relocation.

What's left is a modern township that is lakeside, and no doubt over time will try and build itself up as another Central Otago destination with the lake as the main drawcard. Initial plans included diving trips to show people the old township.

For now, I will have to leave it until my impending visit to see how it has developed.

Alexandra, New Zealand

To me Alexandra has always just been a place you pass through going from Dunedin to Wanaka or Queenstwon, being just another small town on the way. Why do I write about it then? Something about the landscape around it has always appealed, and crossing the bridge into the town just always felt right - strange but true.

There is one big thing that does happen here annually though - the Blossom Festival, where big celebrations go on to acknowledge the beauty of th etrees in full bloom.

Unfortunately I won't be passing through Alexandra this time round, so I don't know when I might get to go back and try and pin down what it is I like here - maybe if you are passing through you can get the chance to pause there and think about it.

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