Bendigo Historic Reserve - Queenstown
Remember to check the weather before exploring the area and take suitable clothing. The climate in central Otago can change from one extreme to the other in one day.
Explore former goldfields in Central Otago. Roam through more than 1000 hectares of open country.
The Bendigo Historic Reserve is now maintained by the Department of Conservation to preserve the relics of the region's mining history.
Gold was found both near to the surface and then later deeper underground, so there was still activity in the area in the late 19th century, meaning many items from original mining sites still exist.
Many of the original foundations from the battery sites are still intact where they were abandoned when mining stopped.
Visitors are free to wander the reserve, but should take care around the many abandoned mine shafts some of which are very deep.
The scenic reserve adjacent to the historic mining site offers spectacular views of the Clutha Basin and the area's vineyard's and farmland.
The main entrance to the reserve in from State Highway 8 at Crippletown near Lake Dunstan. On the way to the car park take time to explore the remains of the Bendigo township, the ruins of the schoolhouse and the sites at Loagantown and Welshtown. The main car park is at Welshtown and vehicles are not allowed past this point. Take time here to read some of the information panels that help explain the area's history and the mining operations.
The site can also be accessed from the Thomson Gorge Road, which passes many historic sites. This road is a four-wheel drive track and should only be attempted in good weather.