Goldfields Mining Centre
Goldfields Village - image taken by writer
is the perfect place to visit for anyone interested in New Zealand's gold rush history. Our family spent several enjoyable hours wandering around Goldfields Village, poking our heads into disused gold miner's huts and the highlight was actually panning for gold, even though we did not strike it lucky.
Kawarau River - image taken by writer
Since the 1860's, many gold nuggets have been discovered by dedicated miners and passing travellers at Gee's Flat, located an hour's drive north from Queenstown. Gee's Flat is now a privately owned historic goldfield and all visitors are welcome to pan for gold. We certainly had fun feeling like miners in days gone by, hoping to see a gold chunk glimmering in the bottom of our pan.
Miner's huts - image taken by writer
Goldfields Village is reached by crossing a bridge over the stunning Kawarau River. Entry to the historic village is via the main building and then visitors can follow the self guided walk past Chinatown, or join a guided Goldfields Experience Tour. We chose to join the one hour guided tour which included a detailed explanation of the sluice gun workings and the stamper battery as well as plenty of educational gold mining facts and interesting information.
Miner's camp - image taken by writer
After our Goldfields Village tour, it was very pleasant to sit at Wild Earth Cafe with seating overlooking the Kawarau Valley and enjoy a quiet coffee and cake.
Gold panning - image taken by writer