Kawarau Gorge - The golden highway

The towering cliffs and rugged hillsides of the Kawarau Gorge takes you through the heart of one of New Zealand’s most historic gold mining regions.

There’s plenty to stop and enjoy on the 40 minutes drive between Cromwell and Queenstown including plenty of wineries, fruit stalls, jet boat action, rafting & riverboarding, the Roaring Meg power station (named after an infamous ‘working lady’ during the gold rush era) and the Goldfields Mining Centre. 

The Centre gives a fascinating insight into the life, working conditions and ingenuity of Otago's early goldminers and is now an historic reserve protected by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation. It covers 25 hectares and if you wander around the rough terrain you can still see the original huts, sluice guns, mine shafts and tunnels blended in amongst the rocks. Plus, you get your own gold pan and the chance to strike it rich!

For an ebook of information about spectacular South Island road trips go here and for more inspiration go to queenstownNZ.co.nz.

Article by

  • Phone
  • Visit our website

Have you got a great story to tell? Add your own article