Enjoy spectacular scenery and some of the richest of Central Otago’s gold heritage at Tarras, a productive farming, horticulture and viticulture area.
Tarras is located on SH8 approximately 30km north of Cromwell. There are several well appointed picnic spots with toilets. Watch for the Rocky Point Pottery on the right of the road in The Stables, which used to be part of a hotel of the same name.
Close by is Bendigo Station, which attracted worldwide attention with the discovery of Shrek, the very woolly hermit sheep.
Bendigo Historic Reserve is home to what was one of New Zealand’s most lucrative quartz mining sites. Follow the Loop Road for about 3.5km to get to the site’s entrance. 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.
The distinctive herringbone tailings of very early gold miners can be viewed at nearby Quartz Reef Point.
Views from Tarras include Lake Dunstan, the Bendigo Wetland Reserve and the protected and distinctive Sugar Loaf – raised landform of glacial river terraces with flat tops and steep side slopes.
At the Tarras village there is a school, general store, cafe, vintage & homewares shop (housed in the former Shadracks blacksmiths store & residence), and a merino store, which specialises in high quality wool products from the districts famed merino flocks.
Take the time to stop and explore Tarras and you will be richly rewarded.