A series of historic reserves and walkways will help you to unearth the stories from Central Otago's gold rush glory days.
Like a giant outdoor museum, the Otago Goldfields Trail combines exciting walkways and mountain biking trails with opportunities to see the weathered remains of human endeavour from the 1860s.
You can pick and choose from more than 20 separate gold mining locations. Together they accurately portray the broad range of gold mining techniques developed by ingenious people who were driven by the chance of great riches. When gold was discovered in Otago in 1861, thousands of miners poured into the region, causing similar scenes to the rushes of California and Australia.
Gabriel's Gully is where it all began, and within seven months 10,000 miners flocked to this goldfield. With mine names like Dead Horse Pinch, Serpentine and Lonely Graves, the hardship and bleak optimism of gold fever is very much apparent. The Golden Progress Mine and Earnscleugh Dredge Tailings show how technology evolved during the rush. By 1867, around two million ounces of gold had been taken out of Otago.
This prosperous time had a major impact on the young New Zealand economy - the grand buildings of Dunedin city are one example of how Otago's riches were spent.