Sites outside Cromwell town and worthy of a visit include the following:
To the south of Cromwell is Bannockburn. Places to visit include the Bannockburn Sluicings, the wineries, Carrick Goldfield, the Hotel, and Bannockburn Inlet. Walking or mountainbiking is the preferred means of seeing these areas. Over the hill from Bannockburn is the Nevis Valley, with a good weather track only, linking with Garston at the southern end of Lake Wakatipu.
The Cromwell to Bannockburn Walkway was developed by the Cromwell Promotion Group and allows walkers and mountainbikers to walk or ride the lakeshore residential areas adjacent to the Kawarau Arm of Lake Dunstan. A second part of this walkway extends from the Bannockburn Bridge to Goldfields Mining Centre and exhibits magnificent herringbone tailing gold workings along its route.
On the way to Queenstown in the Kawarau Gorge is the Goldfields Mining Centre. Stop off at this complex and discover how yesteryear miners won gold. Working exhibits, static displays, jet boat rides and the tearooms make this site a must for every visitor to Central Otago. Further gold mining towns and relics can be visited at the Bendigo Goldfields.
The Old Reservoir walkway is located on State highway 8 to Alexandra. Car parking is available at Jackson's lookout. The strenuous climb to the reservoir will reward strollers with an impressive view over Cromwell, Lake Dunstan and up the Clutha Valley. The track extends to the adjacent Firewood Creek and then returns back to the car park via the highway. Travelling into the Cromwell Gorge is simple compared to the 1980’s when the narrow, twisting road and railway made travel dangerous. This was the location of the major gold discover by Hartley and Reilly.
Cromwell's major attraction is Lake Dunstan. There are ample picnic areas and facilities around the foreshore as well as boat launching ramps and toilets. Fishing, boating, windsurfing, swimming and gold fossicking are activities people of all ages can enjoy.
Ripponvale is located adjacent to and separated from Cromwell by State highway 6. It is an historic orcharding area and comprises the large open spaces of the Cromwell Racecourse Reserve (93ha) and Cromwell Aerodrome (27ha). Lifestyle blocks butt against the foothills with new cherry growing enterprises and well-established orchards predominating in the landscape.
Lowburn was once a small settlement adjacent to the Clutha River. With the formation of Lake Dunstan most of the township has been relocated into the Lowburn Valley. The small village of Pisa Moorings and Perriam Cove have been established in response to residents wishing to be close to the lake with magnificent views of surrounding mountains. A walking track extending from Clark Road up to the terrace ‘tread’ at Dendy’s Cherry Orchard takes you southwards into the Lowburn Valley Road. A short-steep track has been established by the local Rotary Club to link with the 45th Parallel marker. A drive around the Lowburn Valley-Burn Cottage loop road reveals cottage industries (such as lavender products), lifestyle blocks and vineyards.
Travellers on State highway 8 through the Lindis Pass are pleased to stop at the small Tarras Shopping Centre. It also serves as a distribution change-over for transferring bus passengers either to Wanaka or Cromwell. But for those holiday makers in Cromwell who are looking for a special day out then the Tarras – Ardgour area is special and a must to explore.
Hydroelectric development along the Clutha River has a long history, beginning with small local plants associated with gold mining in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Contact Energy Ltd has two large hydro dams on the Clutha River – the Clyde and Roxburgh Power Stations. Both have become iconic features of New Zealand’s sustainable use of renewable resources. Together, these two power stations provide New Zealand with about 10 per cent of its electricity, through harnessing the power of one of New Zealand’s largest rivers.