Roxburgh - Central's
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
Things 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:
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 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.
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.
ROXBURGH 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.
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.
MILLERS 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 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.
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