Hamiltons has an intriguing and continuous history that is still evident today.
Approximately 20 minutes drive from Ranfurly and 10km from Waipiata, Hamiltons is just above Patearoa and En Hakkore Religious Retreat, which was originally built as a tuberculosis sanitarium in the 1930s.
The area is named after Captain Hamilton, who along with two others, drew up and took up Run 204, known as Hamiltons Station. In late 1863, gold was reported and the field initially proved very rich, yielding thousands of ounces of gold. Some 2000 miners first worked the area, peaking at 4000 in 1864. Ironically, the surviving township of Patearoa once relied heavily on Hamiltons for shops and services. The town of Hamiltons, which included 25 liquor outlets and 40 stores, did not last long, although a few miners did stay and continued hydraulic sluicing.
Any sign of the town had all but gone by the early 1900s, though sluicing scars can still be seen and the irrigation dam remains. Alongside Hamilton Road, the restored Hamiltons Cemetery rests behind a stone wall. It is a lonely tribute to Hamiltons past and a wonderful example of history, preserved.
The Waipiata Country Hotel continues the legacy of the ancient ice sport of curling with Hamilton's Curling Club, which was established in 1886.
A distinctive slice of Maniototo’s past lies at Hamiltons.