The Bendigo goldfields were some of New Zealand’s most lucrative. Terrific fortunes were made here; and today it remains richly endowed with remnants of those backbreaking, golden days.

The entrance to the Bendigo Historic Reserve is on the Bendigo Loop Road, about 20km from Cromwell on SH8. There are information panels in the car park at what was Welshtown and numerous walking tracks lead to the historic remains. Look out for mine shafts – there are particularly impressive ones above Aurora Creek with narrow roads linking them; the Matilda and Aurora batteries; water races; pipelines and the stone remains of Pengelly’s Hotel and at Logantown.

Gold was first discovered in Bendigo Creek in 1862. This accessible alluvial gold brought some rich yields of 15-50 ounces a week, but declined after 1866. In 1863 Thomas Logan discovered gold-bearing quartz reefs stretching into the hills. The subsequent hard-rock mining transformed the area with an estimated 52 mine shafts.

Early business alliances and attempts to gain financial backing to facilitate the costly extraction of the gold were disappointing. But Logan’s persistence paid off, and in 1869 the Cromwell Quartz Mining Company’s first crushing of 238 ounces in 10 days, got everyone’s attention. The company continued to gain extraordinary yields. Early on it recovered £4000 worth of gold in an eight-week stint and investors reaped a grand first dividend of £6,000 each, which continued for some years. By 1875 the Bendigo reef was considered the richest in Otago.

In the ensuing rush other quartz reefs at Bendigo were mined with limited success. At its height there were at least 50 shafts. The thriving township of Logantown sprang up, but by 1875 it had been superseded by Welshtown further up the hill.

Mining at Bendigo continued for more than 40 years with declining success.
Find out more about tracks and walks in the Bendigo area here

Otago Central Rail Trail
Discover New Zealand's Original Great Ride - The Otago Central Rail Trail is a relaxing 4-5 day ride through big sky landscapes and through historic townships. Read More

Roxburgh Gorge Trail
Explore New Zealand's Grand Canyon - The Roxburgh Gorge Trail is a unique one day experience. Described as 'Another World' this 34km trail includes a unique jet boat transfer. Read More

Clutha Gold Trail
A 73km journey of discovery through a tapestry of diverse landscapes from seductively rugged semi-arid dry lands through to lush green contoured farmlands that follow powerful Clutha Mata Au River. Read More

Mountain Bike Trails
Whether you’re looking for an adrenalin-pumping single track descent, a long backcountry journey, or a heli biking adventure then the Central Otago region has an experience to suit your style. Read More

Cycle a Great Ride
Central Otago boasts three of NZ's best trails. Otago Central Rail Trail - the original great ride; Roxburgh Gorge Trail - a unique one-day trail complete with jet boat ride; Clutha Gold Trail - a journey of discovery along the mighty Clutha Mata-au river. Read More

Cycling & Mountain Biking Trails
Central Otago boasts a diversity of cycling and mountain bike trails that beckon the cyclist to experience the freedom and the joy of getting off the beaten track. Read More

Clutha Gold Trail
The Clutha Gold Trail is one of the 'Great Rides' of the Nga Haerenga, New Zealand Cycle Trail. The trail is full of variety - from undulating to flat to meandering, there is a journey of discovery around every corner. Read More

Getting to Central Otago
The Central Otago region is located in the middle of the South Island of New Zealand. A scenic a 1hr drive from Queenstown International Airport and accessible via road from Dunedin & Christchurch airports. Read More

Roxburgh Gorge Trail
A spectacular one-day ride through truly iconic country between Alexandra and Roxburgh Dam along the Clutha Mata-au River is a trail worth exploring. Read More

Motorsport Mecca
Be amazed at Highlands in Cromwell. With a world class museum, range of on and off track activities and annual events there is something for everyone whether a car fanatic or not. Read More

Central Otago Wine
Indulge yourself in a premium Central Otago wine at one of the many wineries or cellar doors in the Cromwell and Alexandra basins – sensational! Read More
Our Regional Identity - A World of Difference
Our Regional Identity - A World of Difference 'A World of Difference' defines what is uniquely Central Otago as a place and a community. Read More

Central Otago NZ - Through Local Eyes
Central Otago NZ - Through Local Eyes Meet some unique and passionate Central Otago locals and be introduced to their favourite places and activities. Read More

Food & Wine
Food & Wine Central Otago is a place of sheer indulgence – whether it’s fine dining, a casual al-fresco lunch or café culture. You will be spoilt for choice when enjoying local fare and award winning wines at the great selection of cafés, restaurants, cellar doors and country pubs. Read More
site maplegal information | login
evoSuite Tourism Marketing Software | Crafted by SquareCircle