2023 Nevis Valley Field Trip Saturday 6 December

A great day was had by the 50+ who ventured into the Nevis Valley on Saturday 6 December.

The valley lies over the Carrick Range and beyond Duffers Saddle. It has a fascinating history of Maori occupation, pastoral farming and gold mining. We were lucky indeed to be shown around by people with a personal connection to the valley.

These included

Graham Stewart: Graham’s grandfather owned the General Store in Bannockburn and provided supplies to the residents of the valley for many years. Graham and his brother Gordon own a “man-cave” in Lower Nevis where he has created a small museum and an impressive collection of mining artefacts.

Prue Heaney: Prue grew up on Ben Nevis Station in the Nevis Valley and she and Aaron Johns who jointly manage Ben Nevis and Craigroy Stations provided a rundown on pastoral farming in the valley.

Ann and Ken Adie: Ken’s great grandfather William arrived in the Nevis Valley in 1863 and one of his sons, Dave, built a house in Lower Nevis. The house still stands and is occupied by Ken and Ann for nine months each year. The Adie’s claim was on the hillside behind the house.

Kathy McLean: Kathy was married to Lex, whose family returned to the Nevis Valley in 1948 where they mined in Cameron’s Gully, in the Upper Nevis (mining continued through to the 1960s). It was very moving to hear Kathy speak at her late husband’s gravesite, situated in the beautifully-sited cemetery.


Meet at the OGHT headquarters on the corner of Eris and Donegal Streets Cromwell at 8:00am on Saturday 6 December 2023

4WD vehicles will be required, but don’t worry if you don’t have one as we will get you a ride in one.
9:15 am approx arrive at Nevis Crossing to view remains of cottages built from the brake stones used by horse drawn waggoners to slow their descent.

Nevis Crossing bridge

Visit Ben Nevis Station for a discussion with Aaron and Prue.

Visit the Nevis Cemetery to hear the stories of some of the settlers
buried there.

Meet Ken and Ann Adie at the Lower Nevis township to hear the story of Ken’s family and their gold mining history.

Visit Graham Stewart’s museum and collection of mining artefacts.

12 noon -1:00 pm approx lunch at Lower Nevis township. Time will be available to browse the new interpretation panels adjacent to the ruins of the Nevis Hotel and bakery. Bring your own lunch and morning and afternoon teas.

1:00 pm, travel through to Cameron’s Gully/Bailleys Hill to hear the gold mining history of the McLean family from Kathy

3:00 pm approx, in your own time depart for the return trip to Cromwell.

Cost : $40.00