Roxburgh, New Zealand

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Roxburgh is located in New Zealand
Coordinates: 45°32′S 169°19′E / 45.533°S 169.317°E / -45.533; 169.317Coordinates: 45°32′S 169°19′E / 45.533°S 169.317°E / -45.533; 169.317
Country New Zealand
Region Otago region
Territorial authorities Central Otago District
Population (2013 Census)[1]
 • Total 522
Time zone UTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+13 (NZDT)
Postcode 9500
Area code 03
Local iwi Ngāi Tahu

Roxburgh is a small New Zealand town of about 600 people in Central Otago.[2] It is in Teviot Valley on the banks of the Clutha River, 40 km south of Alexandra in the South Island. State Highway 8, which links Central Otago with Dunedin city, passes through the town. Roxburgh is well known for its Roxdale fruit and "Jimmy's Pies."

An important centre during the Central Otago goldrush of the 1860s, in more recent times Roxburgh has relied on a mixture of livestock and stone fruit production for its economic survival. It is one of the country's most important apple growing regions and other stone fruit such as cherries and apricots are also harvested locally.

Five kilometres to the north of the town is the Roxburgh Dam, the earliest of the major hydroelectric dams built on the Clutha. There is also an opencast lignite mine located just north of town at Coal Creek.


The name of the town comes from Roxburghshire in Scotland and was after the first European settlers arrived in the area.[3] Originally the town was sometimes called Teviot but this name is instead now used for places such as the Teviot Valley and the Teviot River.

Railway history[edit]

From 1928 until 1968, Roxburgh was served by the Roxburgh Branch, a branch line railway that ran to the town from the Main South Line. The railway never actually reached the town itself as the terminus was located about 2 km south of Roxburgh at the small settlement known as Hercules Flat. For the entire period the line served Roxburgh, it made a working loss, but it helped to promote economic development in the town and was an important means of supplying materials for the Roxburgh Dam. Today, relics of the town's former status as a railway terminus still exist, including a turntable pit, a water tower for steam locomotives, and the station building has been converted into a hayshed and workshop. Most of the houses which once housed railway workers (also known as "Railway Houses") still stand and are now in private ownership.

As a movie location[edit]

Town scenes from the 2004 film In My Father's Den were filmed in Roxburgh.[4]

The main street of Roxburgh


View of the Clutha River towards Roxburgh Bridge.

Roxburgh has New Zealand's oldest operating cinema. Located in Scotland Street, it opened 11 December 1897 [5] and is still operating. The cinema seats 258 persons and is one of only four cinemas left in Central Otago. Live shows are also performed occasionally.

War memorial[edit]

The Roxburgh War Memorial was unveiled on the 24th of May 1923 is a square obelisk and lists the names of the 42 men from the town and local region who died in both World War One and Two.[6] When unveiled it included mounted on a plinth, a German Rheinmetall 17 cm mittlerer Minenwerfer and a Maxim MG 08 Heavy Machine gun which was mounted on a tripod. The Mortar was captured by the 12th Company ( Nelson ) 2nd Canterbury Infantry Battalion on the 2 August 1918, and returned to New Zealand as a war trophy.[7][8] The Maxim Gun was stolen some time during the 1970s and the mortar was relocated on 16 March 2003 when a new Memorial Plaque was placed outside the Council Building & Returned Services Association club-rooms.


  1. ^ Quickstats about Roxburgh
  2. ^ "Place name detail: Roxburgh". New Zealand Gazetteer. Land Information New Zealand. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  3. ^ "Roxburgh". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]. © 2012 Victoria University of Wellington. 
  4. ^ "Film locations". Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  5. ^ Mount Benger Mail, 10 December 1897 (Hocken Library, Dunedin)
  6. ^ "Roxburgh war memorial". New Zealand History. Retrieved 2 May 2017. 
  7. ^ Fox, Dr Aaron. "Distribution". Silent Sentinels. Retrieved 1 May 2017. 
  8. ^ Cooke, Peter (2013). Great Guns: The Artillery Heritage of New Zealand. Defence of New Zealand Study Group. ISBN 9780473255558. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Roxburgh, New Zealand at Wikimedia Commons