Gold Panning at Goldfields Mining Centre “Where the Past & Present Meet” A Fascinating Insight into New Zealand’s Early History.
triple-gold-passIT was the lure of GOLD that brought the first settlers into Central Otago and paved the way for today’s tourist towns of Queenstown and Wanaka. Today there are few reminders of this early history.
The Goldfields Mining Centre is a special place where visitors can gain an appreciation of the life and working environment of those early miners who struggled against the harsh and sometimes dangerous conditions along Central Otago’s famed Kawarau Gorge.
Located on the banks of the spectacular Kawarau River, the Goldfields Mining Centre is an historic reserve which has been set aside by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation to preserve an authentic mining site where gold has been mined for over 100 years and can still be found in the rocks & gravels of this unique area.
Find out more about what’s here at the Goldfields Mining Centre
803 Kawarau Gorge Road, Kawarau Gorge 9384, New Zealand
Tours of Goldfields provide visitors with an insight as to “how the gold was won”. Mining for gold was reliant on water power from water races high in the hillsides overlooking the site with numerous sluice guns carving out vast areas of the hillside.
Gold Mining Equipment The power generated by the sluice guns is demonstrated as part of every tour of the site alongside the operation of one of a very few stamper batteries (used to crush the gold-bearing ore) still functioning in New Zealand.
Chinese Village A replica Chinese Village and miner’s store and shacks evoke a period long since gone. Chinese migrants (mainly Cantonese) were drawn by the gold rush of the 1860’s and left everything familiar to them to come to a foreign (and sometimes hostile) country that few of them ever returned from. See how they lived and learn how they became an important part of New Zealand history.
Gold Panning No tour of Goldfields is complete without the chance to pan for gold and there is still plenty of gold for those patient enough to try their luck.
One of Cromwell’s best-kept secrets – a free visitor attraction that has something for the whole family. When the Clyde dam was completed in 1990, Cromwell’s main street disappeared under Lake Dunstan.
Some of the historic buildings dating back to the gold rush of the 1860’s were saved or lovingly rebuilt on higher ground, creating the Cromwell Heritage Precinct. Step back in time to the gold rush and explore heritage buildings, many with artisan businesses in them, located on the shore of beautiful Lake Dunstan.
Cromwell Heritage Precinct, Melmore Terrace, Cromwell 9310, New Zealand
Visit the Cromwell Farmers’ and Craft Market within the Cromwell Heritage Precinct, where an excellent range of local and regional produce is available – direct from growers and producers – during our spring and summer growing season. Enjoy music and brunch foods and local, quality arts and crafts.
Every Sunday 9am to 1pm. Labour Weekend until Easter.
The revamped Cromwell and Districts Museum is located in The Mall. The collections held represent the tangible heritage of Cromwell and the surrounding area and have been built up through the support and donations of the community over many years. They include domestic and agricultural items, displays on the construction of the Clyde Dam, formation of Lake Dunstan records, mining and geological items, clothing, archaeological materials such as Chinese artifacts and sub fossil deposits, Maori artifacts, photographic collections, books, documents and newspapers (Cromwell Argus).