Alexandra (Māori: Areketanara) is a town in the Central Otago district of the Otago region of New Zealand. It is located on the banks of the Clutha River (at the confluence of the Manuherikia River), on State Highway 8, 188 kilometres (117 mi) by road from Dunedin and 33 kilometres (21 mi) south of Cromwell.
At the time of the 2006 census, the permanent population was 4,827, an increase of 423 since 2001. 23.1 per cent of the population (higher than the national average) was aged over 65.-
The town was founded during the Central Otago goldrush in the 1860s, and was named after Alexandra of Denmark by John Aitken Connell who surveyed the town. It was known to miners of the day by several names: the "Lower Township", the "Junction Township", and "Manuherikia". (The "Upper Township" was Dunstan, now Clyde.)
Many orchards were destroyed in the 1980s as a result of construction, 10 km upriver, of the Clyde High Dam, which is the country’s third largest hydroelectric power station.
Alexandra is the service centre for a significant stone-fruit industry, which is celebrated by a blossom festival in the town each spring. Grape production is another major industry in the Central Otago Wine Region. Alexandra has the world’s southernmost vineyard, Black Ridge.
The town is a popular holiday destination mainly due to the hot and sunny climate during summer.
Alexandra is perhaps best known for its annual event, the Alexandra Blossom Festival. The Alexandra Blossom Festival celebrates the advent of Spring in the Central Otago District as evidenced by the blooming of the fruit trees. In 2006 Alexandra celebrated its 50th Blossom Festival, which was held from 15 September to 1 October.
The Alexandra Aerodrome is Alexandra’s only airport. SPANZ, NAC and Mount Cook Airlines were main users of the airport till the 1980s. It is home to the Central Otago Flying Club, and gliding. It is reasonably quiet, and commercial passenger flights are no longer scheduled; Queenstown International Airport is the nearest facility for those.
Alexandra experiences a borderline oceanic/semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb/BSk), The district is one of the farthest from a coastline in New Zealand and experiences cold winters and warm summers relative to the rest of the country. Temperatures regularly drop below zero in winter and will rise above thirty degrees Celsius in the summer months. It is known to be one of the warmest areas in New Zealand during summer. The hottest temperature recorded in Alexandra is 37.2 °C (99 °F), while the coldest is −11.2 °C (12 °F).-