Gold was discovered in the nearby Hogburn stream in 1863 and it didn’t take long before Naseby was a flourishing town with 2000 miners, 14 hotels, 18 stores, 2 butchers, and a baker. In those days there was no wood to build with, so it was a town of calico and mud stone huts.
The decline of Naseby set in when the Otago Central railway line came to Ranfurly and by-passed Naseby completely. Naseby became a quiet township, much beloved by the locals and the few who spent their summer holidays here. The town is now dotted with a combination of the older, historic buildings and newer, mainly holiday homes. Set in a picturesque environment of shady trees it looks comfortable and peaceful in its surroundings.
Nowadays it is the hidden treasure of the Maniototo and we may be thankful there are many solid old buildings to remind us of its history. Being the size it is, Naseby’s history is encapsulated within an easy walk. An hour or a day may be spent wandering the town discovering the relics of the past.
The grandest building is the 1900 two storied post office, but don’t miss the Royal and the Ancient Briton hotels, watchmaker, churches, courthouse, and historic private dwellings. Call in to the information centre either here or in Ranfurly to get a brochure listing the historic buildings seen on this walk.
The town walk is easy and may be as long as you have time for. Naseby has a pace of life all of its own and knows how to relax! Being 680 meters (2000 foot) above sea level, Naseby has an extreme climate. Dry all year round with hot, hot summers and very cold winters.