Further up the valley from Patearoa is the area known as Paerau (meaning ‘Many Ridges’) – home to the extensive Taieri River wetlands. This wetlands area has the only significant scroll plain in New Zealand. The size and complexity of the meander pattern is exceptional and it has developed to a stage where natural cutoffs are occurring and oxbow lakes are plentiful. The school remains open due to it’s distance from the Ranfurly Schools.
Pack a picnic lunch and a rug and take the drive … the magnificent views are well worth the effort. Just stunning!
Paerau is also known as the ‘Styx’. The historic Styx Hotel and Styx Jail/Gaol lie nestled beside the Taieri River at the foot of the Dunstan Trail (the early route to the Central Otago goldfields). As a stop-over point, the Styx Jail was where, in fact, gold bullion was kept, not villians! The chain was to chain up the chests full of gold and the occassional ‘drunkard’.