Clyde, New Zealand

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Clyde, Central Otago, New Zealand
Clyde, Central Otago, New Zealand
Clyde is located in New Zealand
Location of Clyde within New Zealand
Coordinates: 45°11′S 169°19′E / 45.183°S 169.317°E / -45.183; 169.317Coordinates: 45°11′S 169°19′E / 45.183°S 169.317°E / -45.183; 169.317
CountryNew Zealand
Territorial authorityCentral Otago District Council
 (June 2020)[1]
 • Urban area1,200
Time zoneUTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+13 (NZDT)
Local iwiNgāi Tahu

Clyde, formerly Dunstan, is a small town in Central Otago, New Zealand with a population of 1023 in 2018.[2] It is located on the Clutha River, between Cromwell and Alexandra.

Clyde grew up around the former settlement of Dunstan during the Central Otago goldrush of the 1860s. The town could once claim to be the most populous in New Zealand during the height of gold fever. The town's post office (and thus the town) was officially renamed from Dunstan to Clyde on 22 May 1865, after Lord Clyde.[3]

More recently the town has been known for the Clyde Dam, a giant hydroelectric dam at the north end of the town, behind which lies Lake Dunstan. The Clutha River is the swiftest river (per volume) in the southern hemisphere. The river then runs to the Roxburgh Dam before finally meeting the sea at Balclutha.

The town is a popular holiday spot. It lies at the western end of the Otago Central Rail Trail. The Otago Central Branch Railway originally terminated at Cromwell, but this section of the railway was closed in 1980, with the railway to Clyde used to bring materials for the dam project. The rail trail is nowadays often cycled and walked by visitors and locals alike.

The township is home to Dunstan Hospital, serving the surrounding district, including Alexandra and Cromwell. The hospital was rebuilt in 2006 with the original building remaining.

Clyde is fast becoming known as a tourist haven. The location is particularly attractive to those visiting the region's many vineyards and orchards. The regional weather is particularly warm and dry during the summer months due to the rain shadow effect caused by the Southern Alps (given New Zealand's westerly winds).

During the week beginning 22 September, the Clyde/Alexandra district hosts a Blossom Festival. This event celebrates the beginning of spring which brings the blossoming of fruit trees in the area's orchards. Entertainment at the festival includes a parade with floats made by local businesses, fun park rides, and bands.


The Clyde urban area had a usual resident population of 1,161 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 162 people (16.2%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 255 people (28.1%) since the 2006 census. There were 594 males and 564 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.05 males per female. Of the total population, 165 people (14.2%) were aged up to 15 years, 99 (8.5%) were 15 to 29, 558 (48.1%) were 30 to 64, and 342 (29.5%) were 65 or older.[4]

In terms of ethnicity, 93.8% were European/Pākehā, 6.2% were Māori, 1.8% were Pacific peoples, 2.3% were Asian, and 2.1% were other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).[4]


Clyde School is a co-educational state primary school for Year 1 to 8 students,[5][6] with a roll of 158 as of March 2021.[7]

The nearest high school is Dunstan High School, which is situated 10 km away in Alexandra.[8]

The nearest university is Otago University 200 km away in Dunedin.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "Population estimate tables - NZ.Stat". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Stats NZ". Statistical area 1 codes 7027868-7027873. Retrieved 2019-12-14.
  3. ^ Gilkison, Robert (1958). Early Days in Central Otago. Whitcombe and Tombs Limited. p. 169.
  4. ^ a b "Age and sex by ethnic group (grouped total response), for census usually resident population counts, 2006, 2013, and 2018 Censuses (urban rural areas)". Retrieved 2020-10-10.
  5. ^ "Clyde School Official School Website".
  6. ^ "Clyde School Ministry of Education School Profile". Ministry of Education.
  7. ^ "Clyde School Education Review Office Report". Education Review Office.
  8. ^ "Ministry of Education School Profile". Ministry of Education.

External links[edit]

Media related to Clyde, New Zealand at Wikimedia Commons