Alongside the slopes of the Pisa Range lies the unassuming settlement of Queensberry, once one of the most notable stops en route between Central Otago goldfields.
Situated 15 minutes north of Cromwell on SH6, Queensberry is generally defined as the area between Gravelly Creek to the south and Poison Creek to the north.
Although not significant in terms of gold mining, it was an important staging post for travellers to the goldfields. It was the place to stop for coaches and supply wagons midway between Cromwell and Wanaka, and for the twice-weekly coach between Dunedin and Wanaka (known then as Pembroke).
At times, the local hotel known variously as Kidd’s Hotel or Woodhouse’s Hotel depending on the licensee, entertained up to eight wagons and 100 horses at any one time.
The hotel’s replacement, the Queensberry Inn, flourished into the 1920’s. The buildings are now protected under the provisions of the Historic Places Trust.
Times have moved on, but Queensberry remains the perfect place to stop between towns for a meal and to appreciate the surrounding beauty; and at night, the sparkling stars set against the inkiest of skies.