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Roxburgh - Central's Fruitbowl

RoxburghIn pre-European times the Roxburgh district was a camping place for Maori travelling parties who used the Clutha River as a route to the West Coast and as a place to hunt moas. The first European settlers who arrived in the Roxburgh area in the 1850s took up sheep farming, but the Teviot Valley was also to become populated by goldminers following the discovery of gold thereby a party who stopped and prospected their on their way to the Dunstan, with such good results they decided to go no further. Up to a dozen dredges were working the area in the early 1900s, but by 1920 mining activities had declined while orcharding and farming became the major industries. The population again fluctuated with the building of the Roxburgh dam, completed in 1953, and now the economy is boosted in summer by seasonal orchard workers.

Clutha RiverThings to do in the area include fishing, walking, visiting orchards or a vineyard.

Fruit sales begin in December with cherries and strawberries, and continue until the apples finish in autumn. The fruit is at its best at these times:
Cherries: December
Strawberries: December & March
Apricots: mid-January to mid-February
Peaches: February to March
Plums, apples & pears: late February on.
Fruit stalls are seen on the main highway and across the river at Roxburgh East. Pick your own fruit is available at some places.

Information Centre: Scotland Street, Roxburgh - open 10am Tuesday to Saturday in summer


Gorge CreekGORGE CREEK MONUMENT - 23km north of Roxburgh is Gorge Creek, and a monument to an unknown number of gold miners who perished in the 1863 snows on the Old Man Range. Take time out from your journey to consider the harsh conditions the miners worked in, in search of gold. This was the site of an early gold settlement. Nearby is the "Central Otago Kiwi," an slip scar on the hillside where some wag has added a beak and foot to kiwi shape.

LAKE ONSLOW One of Otago's best fisheries, set in rolling tussock-clad hills. This lake can be reached from either Roxburgh or Millers Flat by following the AA signs after crossing the Clutha River, a three hour trip suitable only in dry weather.

Lake OnslowROXBURGH WALKWAYS Information on three new walkways around the Roxburgh area can be obtained from the information centre (open 10am Tuesday to Saturday in summer) or the Shell Garage.

JIMMY'S PIES Jimmy's Pies from Roxburgh are famous throughout the lower South Island. Made to an old family recipe, Jimmy's have been making their meat pies for almost 50 years. One of New Zealand's traditional take-away foods, Jimmy's make 20,000 pies fresh each day. Visit Jimmy's pie shop in Roxburgh's main street, open Monday to Friday.

BENGER GOLD JUICING CO. A unique range of fresh fruit products are produced at this juicing plant, nestled at the foot of Mount Benger, 5km south of Roxburgh. The range includes cider, liqueurs, stone fruit nectars, varietal apple juices, sauces and jams. Open 7 days (8am-5pm week days, 10am-4pm weekends) for free tastings and sales. Tours of the plant are available by arrangement.

Moa Seed BarnMOA SEED BARN AND HOMESTEAD (now called the Seed Farm) Originally a 300 acre farm which was subdivided after World War 1 with 30 acres retained as an experimental farm growing parsnips, white carrots and beetroot for seed. After World War 2 the operation changed to flowers including sweet peas, tulips and gladioli. The historic stables and homestead, dating back to 1869, have been converted into a restaurant and lodge- style accommodation. Open 7 days in summer, and Friday to Sunday at other times, accommodation available all year. German spoken.

PINDER'S POND A popular scenic swimming pond which was originally a dredge hole from the mining days. Children only are permitted to fish at the pond. To get there, cross the bridge at Roxburgh, turn right and travel approximately 5km.

bridgeMILLERS FLAT BRIDGE This 578ft long four-arch bridge over the Clutha River was built a hundred years ago to replace a punt that was originally used to cross the river. All materials were specially imported from England and assembled in New Zealand. Local residents celebrated the opening of the bridge in January 1899, but next day found the bridge was closed by order of the Prime Minister, Richard Seddon until he officially opened it in February.

ROXBURGH HYDRO There is a large picnic area on the east side of the dam with access to the lake for boating.

Lonely GravesLONELY GRAVES - MILLERS FLAT A poignant reminder of the Otago gold rush days when young men flocked from all parts of the world, often with little more than the clothes on their backs and dreams of riches. One day in 1864 goldminer William Rigney found the body of a young man who appeared to have drowned. Rigney decided to give the man a decent burial, and so, despite his identity never being found, he was buried with a wooden headboard onto which Rigney insribed the words "Somebody's Darling Lies Buried Here." For many years Rigney tended the grave and when he died 48 years later, he was laid to rest beside the man he never knew. To get to the graves, cross the Clutha River at Millers Flat, turn right at Faigan's store and take the shingle road that leads along the northern bank of the river toward Craig Flat.

TEVIOT WOOLSHED RUINS - MILLERS FLAT The stone ruins of what was once the largest woolshed in the Southern Hemisphere can be viewed from the Millers Flat Loop Road, south of Roxburgh. The woolshed, 450ft long and 150ft wide, catered for 40 shearing stands before it was totally destroyed by fire in 1924.

Teviot woolshed

For more information contact:
Roxburgh Valley Tourism
Phone +64 3 446 8105
Fax +64 3 446 8113
email: roxinfo@codc.govt.nz

see also the following websites:

Central Otago Information site
Otago Goldfields Heritage Trail
Tourism Central Otago

Most photos on this page (except Gorge Creek monument) supplied by MacGRAPHICS, PO Box 65, Roxburgh, Ph/fax (03) 446 8175

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