Flat Top Hill Circuit, Alexandra NZ

A fairly unique circuit walk through the rocky and arid Central Otago landscape of Flat Top Hill, with excellent views of Roxburgh Gorge.

Flat Top Hill Circuit, Alexandra

On Christmas Day 2022 we decided to chase the best of the weather and head out to Alexandra for the first time in years, doing a circuit walk in Flat Top Hill Conservation Area. It’s a unique rocky and arid landscape punctuated by the aqua colour of the dammed Clutha River in Roxburgh Gorge. You can do a roughly 13km circuit as we did, but a shorter version following just the Basin View Track is enough to see the best scenery in the area.

The vegetation on offer is mostly introduced weeds such as wild thyme (quite aromatic) so this is not an authentic Central Otago experience. DOC is trying to re-introduce native plants but it will be a long time coming. All in all though, an interesting walk that offers somethings different for those used to the scenery around Queenstown. Track notes at the end.

Flat Top Hill Circuit: The Scenery

Flat Top Hill Circuit, Alexandra
Butchers Creek early on in the walk. This is dammed near the start and so it’s pretty dry in this section.
Flat Top Hill Circuit, Alexandra
Rocky terrain although easy walking for the most part.

Flat Top Hill Circuit, Alexandra Flat Top Hill Circuit, Alexandra

Flat Top Hill Circuit, Alexandra
The beginnings of Roxburgh Gorge.
Flat Top Hill Circuit, Alexandra
The (dammed) Clutha River in Roxburgh Gorge.
Flat Top Hill Circuit, Alexandra
Roxburgh Gorge
Flat Top Hill Circuit, Alexandra
Rocky scenery on top of Flat Top Hill.
Flat Top Hill Circuit, Alexandra
Sophia next to one of the biggest tors we came across.
Flat Top Hill Circuit, Alexandra
The Old Man Range
Flat Top Hill Circuit, Alexandra
Our lunch spot overlooking the Old Man Range.
Flat Top Hill Circuit, Alexandra
Butchers Dam

Track Notes

Flat Top Hill Circuit, Alexandra
We walked this route clockwise. It’s on a track or at least poled route the whole way. You can shorten the walk by taking the Basin View Track for the return leg, missing out the Flat Top Track section. 

We walked this route clockwise from Butchers Dam. It’s on a track or at least poled route the whole way. You can shorten the walk by taking the Basin View Track for the return leg, missing out the Flat Top Track section. And there are various other options for walkers and mountain bikers in the conservation area – have a look at the DOC site for more information.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.