The town lies on the junction of SH 1 (Christchurch to Dunedin) and SH 85 (The Pigroot) which was an early route to Central Otago.

The journey inland was anything but easy for the early goldminers. At Dead Horse Pinch, near the Pigroot summit (45km from Palmerston), is a roadside plaque which commemorates the hardships faced by the travellers – miners, wagoners and coaches in those early days.

Dead Horse Pinch Plaque

Dead Horse Pinch


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