Bendigo

Some 20km from Cromwell on the road to the Lindis Pass (SH 8), the Bendigo Loop Road takes you to the Bendigo goldfields, one of the few successful quartz mining areas in Otago. Mining in the early years, from 1862 to 1866, was spent working the creeks for alluvial gold. Later, quartz reefs were discovered…

Nevis Valley

In this magnificent, remote valley, with its upper and lower sections separated by a gorge, one can still get a good impression of what a small Central Otago mining area would have been like 90 years ago. The Nevis can be reached from Bannockburn by climbing to 1300m over Duffers Saddle on the Carrick Range…

Bannockburn

Across the Bannockburn Bridge, 9 km from Cromwell is a tortured yet beautiful landscape sculpted by the miners sluicing for gold from 1865 to 1910. While walking around these diggings, you will discover fascinating evidence of water races, dams, tunnels, shafts, crumbling cob and stone buildings and old orchards at Stewart Town. Beyond Bannockburn, off…

Cromwell

CROMWELL was originally known as The Junction, and is now a modern town, redeveloped because of the Clyde Dam project and Lake Dunstan, which started to fill in 1992. In the Mall, the Cromwell Museum displays gold relics while down at the lakeside, part of the original commercial centre, Old Cromwell Town, has been painstakingly…

Cardrona

After crossing the Crown Range, the road from Queenstown to Wanaka follows the picturesque valley of the Cardrona River where a few remains of the Cardrona diggings can be found. Most of the valley was destroyed in the big flood of 1878, leaving little behind. A few of the miners returned, not to work the…

Macetown

Macetown was transformed by the miners’ determination in the 1860s from a severe and stark environment into a bustling mining town. Macetown is now a ghost town, which was always remote and its climate harsh, but it only closed down when the mines eventually failed. Hundreds of exotic trees grow on the once treeless landscape…

Arrowtown

Arrowtown Rests gently but firmly on its past, lingering as a living memory of a substantial gold town of the early 1860s goldrush days. The town was the first mining settlement in the Wakatipu District and its historic character has been faithfully retained by stringent town planning regulations. Historic miners’ cottages shelter under an avenue…

Glenorchy

The unique set of berdans at the Invincible Mine, Rees Valley Photo: John Douglas At the head of Lake Wakatipu, 50km west beyond Queenstown, lies Glenorchy which is the town nearest to the starting point for the well-known walking tracks, the Routeburn and the Greenstone. From Glenorchy, 18km up the Rees Valley Road, are two…

Skippers

In the hills behind Queenstown was the richest of the Otago Goldfields and today the most visited, not only for its dramatic landscape, scenery and historic romance but also as an adventure playground: bungy jumping, rafting and jetboating. Today, Skippers is normally reached in a 4WD vehicle by the spectacular Skippers Road to the 1901…

Queenstown

– is a unique place where history, magnificent scenery and natural attractions are brought to life. Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, the Queenstown site was first settled in 1860 by pioneering sheep drovers (one being William Rees) and later in 1862 by gold prospectors. These prospectors flocked to the area from all corners…