Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Otago Gold

Day 70
Queenstown to Cromwell
Time: 3:58:00
Distance: 63.5 k
Avg Speed: 15.8 kph
Terrain: Rolling
Location: 45 02 27.7 S, 169 12 51.0 E

We’ve been traveling in the Otago District for the last two weeks. We entered it back in Omarama and will go through it all the way to Dunedin. Gold was discovered in the region in the late 1800s and was once the richest district in New Zealand. Dunedin was the center of this wealth and was once a very influential city. The gold rush lasted for 40 years and miners came from all around the world.
Today we left Queenstown and made our way to Cromwell, one of the towns that sprung up during the gold years. With those days gone, Cromwell now relies heavily on fruit production. In fact, we were greeted by giant sized fruit as we entered town. See photo.
Cromwell has not escaped the wide spread hydro schemes in New Zealand. In 1993 part of the original town site was flooded when the Clyde Dam was built.
We’re now headed to Dunedin via the Otago Rail Trail. We definitely enjoyed our time in and among the mountains. There were a lot of similarities to Eagle County, from the laid back outdoor atmosphere right down to the booming construction. It made us feel right at home.

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