Heritage Experiences

Heritage Experiences, things to do, Maniototo, Central OtagoHeritage Experiences, things to do, Maniototo, Central Otago

When Maori first moved through the Maniototo, flowing red tussocks covered the valleys and hillsides.  On route to the West Coast in their search for Pounamu (NZ Greenstone or Jade) the name Maniototo or ‘Plains of Blood’ was given by Maori.  Massive fires have long destroyed most of the tussocks but the name remains.

Discovery of gold opened up the Maniototo and, throughout this vast landscape and scarred hillsides, you will discover mud brick buildings and old coaching inns, stone buildings, fences and cemeteries – all remnants of a once prosperous bygone era.  Initially, Naseby was the main ‘center’ of the Maniototo with banks, council buildings and most essential services starting here as the population grew when the search for gold became a hunger.  Some thirty years, later the railway came through from Dunedin and a post office and ‘coach stop’ at the Naseby turn-off (then named Eweburn) was relocated to the current site of Ranfurly town.  This was deemed a more ‘central’ site and, over time, the main service buildings were brought from Naseby to Ranfurly.


Maniototo Heritage Trail

The Maniototo Heritage Trail covers some 200 kms of sealed and graveled roads.  You may decided to do parts of the trail or complete it over two days.  Visit historic townships, remote country pubs and cemeteries.  The trail provides many places to explore and to view the vast landscape.

The Maniototo Heritage Trail brochure includes full map and descriptions and is available at Ranfurly i-site, various locations around the Maniototo or can be downloaded in pdf format here … Maniototo Heritage Trail Brochure 2015


Centennial Milkbar, Ranfurly Art Deco, Gallery and Walks, Central otago

Ranfurly Art Deco Gallery & Art Deco Walk

The Centennial Milk Bar in Ranfurly is a classic building of modernist design and houses the only Art Deco Museum in the Southern Hemisphere, the Ranfurly Art Deco Gallery.

An Art Deco Walk has been developed, showcasing this unique style. Brochure available at Ranfurly i-site or download the PDF – ART DECO Brochure

Maniototo Early Settlers Musuem, Heritage experiences, Naseby, Central Otago Maniototo Early Settlers Museum – Naseby

These two buildings house Maniototo’s only historical museum and are well worth the time spent exploring the displays and reading stories of hardship and toil.  Learn about the discovery of gold in the 1860’s, the downturn when gold ran out and high country farming.

Gain an insight into a land and people very unique to New Zealand … (more)

Hayes Engineering Works, Oturehua, Heritage, Experiences, Maniototo, Central OtagoHayes Engineering Works – Oturehua

Ernest E. Hayes arrived from Warwickshire in 1882 to Rough Ridge (later named Oturehua) and upon purchase of his land, found the manufactured goods he required for agricultural work took too long to source so he set about making his own.  Among windmills and wire coilers, he created the now famous parallel wire strainers and his original workshop still opens for tours and operating days show the machinery in working order … (more)

Heritage Experiences, things to do, Maniototo, Central OtagoOturehua Store

Where else can you still buy fresh fruit and veges, pies, drinks, Grahame Sydney prints and stamps for your postcards in a store than has been operating under the same name for over 100 years?

A true Maniototo gem, be sure to buy your ‘staples’ when staying in Oturehua or at least call in for a photo and a pie.

Golden Progress Mine, Oturehua, Gold, Heritage, Experiences, History, Central Otago Golden Progress Mine – Oturehua

Golden Progress Mine is up Reefs Rd, at the Northern end of Oturehua. It’s Central Otago’s last poppet head (or winding tower) left still standing.  With a 182″ shaft and 165″ shafts going off the drive, it was a massive undertaking, employing at one time 25 miners working shifts.  You can see that was used to straddle one of the shafts sunk to reach gold-bearing quartz rock.

Hamiltons, Goldfields, Kyeburn Diggins both in Central Otago, New Zealand Hamiltons and Kyeburn Diggings

Approximately halfway along the Waipiata-Patearoa Rd, nestled against the Rock ‘n’ Pillar Ranges is all that remains of the Hamiltons Goldfields (which once produced 80,000 tonnes of gold).  Kyeburn Cemetery sits opposite the Kyeburn River just before Dansey’s Pass Hotel and the pass itself.

Styx Gaol, Jail, Taieri River, Heritage, Experiences, History, Dunstan, Central OtagoStyx Gaol / Jail

On the way up to Paerau, the Taieri Wetlands, past Patearoa and just before the Dunstan Trail, nestled in beside the Taieri River is the old Styx pub and Jail.  It’s a lovely place to picnic and photograph … (more)

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