Goldfields Mining Site
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Sat 23 Aug 2014 22:17
Goldfields Mining Site Opposite Roaring Meg
Driving along admiring the colour of the water in the gorge, we saw a turning by some old buildings, time for a stop and explore.
I like the idea of something being called Roaring Meg, anyhooo. The Goldfields Mining Centre site remains much as it was in the days when the early miners lived and worked here. It is an authentic example of a fully functioning goldfield preserved as New Zealand’s premier demonstration site.
Discovery of gold in the 1850’s and 1860’s began the early settlement of the untamed inland South Island. Prospectors from the four corners of the globe flocked to the region to seek their fortunes and began the settlements of Queenstown, Arrowtown, Cromwell and many more of the local townships.
The Goldfields twenty five hectare reserve covers an area once known as Gees Flat like many other pioneers and miners that left the marks of their industry as well their names, on what was once wilderness. Gee left nothing to tell us about either himself or his fortunes but his discovery of gold on this site started a hundred year gold-rush.
Today we could see the original tunnels, mine shafts, water races and dams built by the early miners, the water-powered machinery still works as it did over a hundred and thirty years ago. There is a tiny stone cottages of Chinatown, huts and early shelters of the first settlers. The site is still considered to be very rich and is now protected by the Department of Conservation, nuggets are sometimes found with smaller flakes on a daily basis.
The trigger finger leapt into action and Bear scurried off to his quarry, sadly, what he thought was a cannon sticking out was in fact just part of a sluice.
A bigger sluice.
Pulley boxes waiting quietly.
I really liked the pulley cart against the pinks of the eucalyptus tree.
Every miner wished........
ALL IN ALL A FEEL FOR GOLD MINING
AN EXCITING PAST