Glaciers and gold at Lake Wakatipu - Roadside Stories

A Manatū Taonga audio guide to Lake Wakatipu's geological history.

Check out the Ministry for Culture and Heritage's audio guide to Lake Wakatipu in the Video tab.

The ice-age glaciers that gouged the land to form Lake Wakatipu also released precious stones from the earth. For Māori the lake was a source of prized greenstone, and in the 1860s Europeans flocked to the area in search of gold.

Wakatipu basin

Pounamu – jade or greenstone
Gold and gold mining
The Earnslaw, Lake Wakatipu
Glaciers and glaciation: retreating ice and the glacier legacy

Roadside Stories are a series of audio guides to places of interest on major road trips in New Zealand. Each guide tells the story of an attraction along the way – its people, its history, its cultural and natural significance. For more information about Roadside Stories visit

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