The Thomson Road in the Dunstan Mountain is a historic road which is open year around in the summer time is a 2 WD road while a 4WD in the winter month. It is a remote high country road where some examples of early gold mining and early settlement in the Dunstan Mountains are discovered.
This historic road follows beside Thomson Gorge Creek with a few ford crossings. By dry conditions, the fords are half wheel deep, but very rough to ride through on a motorbike. The easiest access is the turn off by Lindis Crossing. The turn off is just before the left turn onto a bridge to the right, driving direction from Alexandra to Tarras.
In late 1862 the first miners were crossing over from Manuherikia Valley to upper Clutha Valley and discovered gold in the river. The Thomson Gorge track was used by miners and traveler who made their way to east or west.
There are many historic sites beside the track, most of them are on private land. Visitors should respect the privacy of the land owner and should ask for permission to enter the land before trespassing. If access is denied there is a good reason why the land owner denies the access.
The road is very easy to drive in dry conditions and by rain there are not many rough sections along. The only big challenge is to open or close the gate on the road in total there are 23 gates to open or close! Jumping off and on the bike keeps you busy and it takes longer than riding the whole road from east to west. The roads winds up into the mountain over the Thomson Saddle (900M) into the Bendigo area on the eastern side of the range. Not far away is a stone hut build beside the road in 1908, which provides shelter to the traveler on the way to the goldfields.
On top of the Saddle is a magnificent panorama view into the Southern Alps and lake Hawea, Lake Wanaka, and upper Clutha. I have not found a good camping spot beside the track yet. The underground is very rocky, or live stock is around, mainly sheep. The valley is very wide and it changes the scenery more times. Many picnic areas are located along the track so remember to take your litter home with you.