Palmerston

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…

Clyde

(formerly known as The Dunstan) – was named after the nearby Dunstan Mountains, and was the town at the centre of the Dunstan Goldfields rush of 1862. Today, Clyde is overshadowed by the Clyde Dam hydro-electricity scheme. Stone and wooden buildings, dating back to the 1860s, line the streets of this historic town. Oliver’s Restaurant…

Alexandra

(once known as Manuherikia) – In the town centre you will find the 1879 Alexandra Courthouse (now a cafe), and the museum has a comprehensive collection of old mining relics and photographs. Two leaflets are available describing viewing and walking tours in Alexandra and its immediate district which include many historical sites. These can be…

Danseys Pass

Just 29km beyond Naseby, past the sluiced cliffs and high heaped tailings of the Kyeburn Diggings, you will find the Danseys Pass Hotel. The Pass Hotel was built in 1863 and for a time was the centre of all activities in the district. The present stone building was plastered in the late 1950s with the…

Naseby

(First known as Parkers and later as Hogburn) – has a distinctly historic quality. The rawness of the sluice-scarred hills exposed in the former goldmining days has now been softened by the spread of wilding trees. Inquire at the Naseby Information Centre (03 444 9961 or 03 444 9990) about walks and mountain bike riding…

Oturehua

Originally known as Rough Ridge Just north out of Oturehua, off Reef Road, a short walk takes you to the Golden Progress quartz mine with the only poppet head still standing in Otago. Above a 61m deep shaft, the 14m high structure supports wheels over which once ran ropes to hoist gold-bearing ore to the…

St Bathans

St Bathans began as a boom town known as Dunstan Creek in 1863. In 1864 some 2,000 miners lived in and around the general locality of St Bathans. St Bathans is today a little rural town, with two surviving operating facilities – its pub and the Post Office. Time has stood still and it takes…

Cambrians, Drybread and Matakanui

Cambrians, off the St Bathans loop road, was originally settled by Welsh gold and coal miners in 1863. Along Cambrian Road, a number of mudbrick cottages still survive and are used today as holiday cribs. Cambrians is just one of a number of mining settlements which grew up along the eastern side of the Dunstan…

Ophir

(Originally known as Blacks where the pub is still called Blacks Hotel) – Today, Ophir is a peaceful town close to the Manuherikia River, 26 km from Alexandra just off SH 85 to Ranfurly. It’s rich history comes from its many original stone buildings which include the restored Post and Telegraph Office built 1886, the…

Quartz Reef Point – Northburn

A rich auriferous site lies exposed by the early miners who worked these terraces by sluicing, leaving behind tailing channels and herringbone tailings which from the air resemble fossil ferns.