Clyde is 7 km from Alexandra and 27 km from Cromwell, on the Clutha River. The 1862 gold-rush town was first known as Dunstan after the neighbouring Dunstan Mountains. The name was changed to Clyde in 1865. Pavement plaques identify historic points of interest. A 1934 steel-arched road bridge across the Clutha to Earnscleugh sits on the stone piers of an 1881 bridge. The railway line closed in 1990; 10 kilometres of the track became a ‘rail trail’ for walkers and cyclists in 1994, and the full 150-kilometre Otago Central Rail Trail opened in 2000. The Clyde hydroelectric dam and power station are just north of the town.

Meaning of place name
The name commemorates Lord Clyde (Sir Colin Campbell), one of the heroes of the Crimea and Indian Mutiny. The name was probably given by J.T. Thomson, who named several places after personalities and battles connected with the Indian Mutiny.