2012 AGM and Fieldweekend.

Click here for the minutes. Here for the presidents report.

The OGHT had its AGM in their Cromwell office (the historic old Methodist Church) on Saturday the 23rd with 40 members in attendance. The meeting proceeded in orderly fashion with an overwhelmingly positive ‘vibe’ from the attendee’s. We have been busy in the last 12 months (see presidents report attached).Cromwell's Catholic Church

Morning tea and lunch was provided by the Cromwell Girl Guides club to much positive affirmations and then the group proceeded on their afternoon tour of some of the older buildings in the ‘older part of town’. 4 historic churches in one block, 2 old cottages in various states of repair Imageand the original court house were all visited each with their own unique speaker.Old Cromwell Court House

The group then headed down to Old Cromwell Town Precinct for the planting of a commemorative tree. ImageA Golden Totara was very kindly donated by Cromwell Garden Land and all were in agreement that the ‘Podocarpus Totara `Aurea` was an appropriate tree considering the Totara was the dominant tree of this area (up until about 400 years ago) and having a ‘golden’ tinge for the Gold150 celebratory year. Visible in the attached photo are from left to right:

A quick jaunt was then taken out near to the Kawarau Mining Centre where a new section of walking track has been completed beside the river and impressive herringbone tailings can been seen. Unfortunately heavy rain meant this side trip had to be cut short.

Dinner that night was at the Victoria Hotel (Old Cromwell Town again) with guest speaker Fraser Jonker the new CEO of Pioneer Generation. Tis an interesting relationship between Pioneer and the Goldfields Trust – some of the Pioneer assets are rooted back to gold mining infrastructure. The power generator is 100% owned by the Central Lakes Trust who are funding nearly all the ‘Gold150’ celebrations this year around our area as well as most of the other subsequent OGHT projects. Yet we (the OGHT) has still submitted against Pioneer in some of their plans… the Nevis for example. Anyway Fraser gave a great talk and was well received by the dinner goers. Dinner was very good also. Big thanks to the crew at the Vic for a wonderful evening.

Sunday morning’s tour ‘A new look at Old Bannockburn’ lead by local Gordon Stewart Gordon Stewart of the Clan 'Stewart'!was a highlight for many. After parking by the Bannockburn Bridge and scrambling around the lake side the group were treated to Oatcakes and Whiskey served by a kilt wearing Stewart who not only regaled about his families links to the hotel ruins about their feet Imagebut also the history of the Battle of Bannockburn and even further into the geology of the near surrounds. After a walk around the inlet and up the track, over the knob and back to the cars it was into the Bannockburn pub for an absolutely scrumptious spread of soup and savouries followed by coffee and cake. Thanks very much to Tim, Bronwyn and the team at the ‘Bannie’.

Roxburgh turned on a great weekend for Goldfields Trust Field Trip

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Great weather helped to set up a wonderful field weekend in Roxburgh.

31 Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust members met at the Commercial Hotel for morning tea and a very interesting talk by the publican John Kerr about the settling of Otago and the building of his hotel. While most of the Otago Gold-rush towns date back to the early 1880’s Roxburgh goes back a good 20years earlier than that! The reason for that was talked about more at our third stop…

After a very satisfying morning tea we filled up vehicles and drove off in a convoy to Pinders Pond to meet with Stephen Jeffrey of the Roxburgh Community Board and descendants of the pond’s namesake David and Helen Pinder as well as David’s sister Margaret Kitto (nee Pinder). A short ceremony was had to officially ‘unveil’ the two new interpretation panels the Trust had erected at the pond. Thanks were made all around from John Douglas who started the ball rolling about 7 years ago to Mike Floate and Bruce McMillan for further researching the text and photos for the panels and finally to Jocelyn Cook who is the new official and very well respected designer of the trusts panels.

Our third point of interest was on Loop Road at the house of John Crawford. After much comment on the exotic breed of chickens he had running around his yard we got down to the real business of the explanation for the largest stone ruins in NZ – the Teviot Woolshed. John lives about 100m from the woolshed and recently published a book all about it so, not surprisingly, he was a wonderful speaker and put a lot of greatly embellished myths about the actual size of the woolshed to rest. For an excellent article on the woolshed click here. http://www.grownups.co.nz/read/travel/explore_new_zealand/the-teviot-woolshed

Now our group headed out to the Horseshoe Bend (Teviot River) dam, power house and wind turbines for our ‘picnic in the hills’. It was quite windy on top which was very much appreciated as it blew away the dust from between the cars in convoy. Luckily our spot down in the valley was lovely and sheltered for a very pleasant lunch. David Hamilton gave an overview of the John Ewing dam’s and water races used for his gold mining operations and how they had subsequently been used for electricity generation and irrigation purposes. For David’s excellent presentation that he delivered to a conference last year click here. http://www.ipenz.org.nz/heritage/conference/presenters/hamilton.htm

The day continued with a drive back closer to Roxburgh and a walk around the holding pond above ‘the George’ power house then on to the actual power house itself. Built on what could only be described in 1924 as a ‘precipice’. For more history on the power scheme click here. http://www.pioneergen.co.nz/History.asp

The last walk of the day was into the Teviot River Gorge and the very impressive siphon which transports water down the south side of the gorge then up and over to the orchards further north of the Teviot.

We topped off the day with an excellent meal and camaraderie at the Lake Roxburgh Lodge. Thanks very much to Kim and Phil who looked after us so well just like they did 7 years ago at our previous field weekend to Roxburgh.

Many of us stayed at the Teviot Motels (many thanks to Christine – a wonderful hostess) and all were invited to a ‘help yourself’ continental breakfast in the ‘house lounge’ provided by the trust. This ensured we were all together and on time for our first appointment of the day with Stu and Ngaire Edgecumbe at their gold panning tourist activity. Stu very generously attributes his new business to our previous field weekend (7 yrs ago)where, such was the feedback to Stu’s tour of an as yet undefined collection of tailings, that the seed was planted for him to create it into a commercial venture.  Being able to consistently find gold in your pan after having just dug a shovel full of gravel out of the bank at your feet feels very authentic!

After a quick morning tea (fresh scones and all) we drove over the Roxburgh Dam and up to Gorge Creek for a walk and talk by Ed Dwyer. The rain just held out until we had had time to hear the history of the area and visit the red cross on the white rock you can see from the road (the only surviving headstone of about 8-9 miners who were buried here). We also got to inspect a great example of a miners hut built under a very accommodating slab of rock.

The weekend finished in glorious style with the new proprietors of the Shingle Creek Tavern absolutely outdoing themselves by providing us with a lunch surely fit for kings! Thanks very much to Ange and her helper at the Shingle Creek Pub.

All in all a great weekend enjoyed by all. Feel free to leave your own comments below.

Special thanks have to go to David Hamilton, Ed Dwyer, Jason Rooney, Grant Botting and John Crawford for their help in making the weekend such a success.


Roxburgh Field Weekend 16th/17th October.

Here’s the plan-

(click here for registration form)

We will all meet at the Commercial Hotel in Roxburgh by 10am Saturday where there will be instant coffee, tea and scones for us while John Kerr tells us all about the history of his Hotel and the basics of Roxburgh.

We will then all pile back into our cars (ride sharing if people want to) and travel in convoy out to lake Onslow via Pinder’s Pond and various points around the water races and dams of the Teviot Power Scheme. David Hamilton who has done extensive research on the area will be our interpreter at the various stops. Some of these stops will include short walks to points/relics of interest around tussock and rock country over old water races or sheep tracks so bring your good walking boots and sticks. At some stage we will have a picnic lunch in the hills.

You will then have time to drop off your things and get ready for dinner at your chosen accommodation before we all drive 8mins to Lake Roxburgh Lodge for a wonderful buffet meal.

On Sunday morning breakfast will be served for everybody in the main hall of the Teviot Motels before we walk over the road and down the track to Stu Edgecombe’s mining area. There are various interesting sites, relics and stories that Stu will show us around – you will have time for a quick pan for gold if you are keen ($10 extra per person for gold panning).

Then we will be back in convoy out to Gorge Creek (20mins) to meet Ed Dwyer at 11am who’ll give us a very interesting introduction to the historic trails leading over the Old Man Range and show us a couple of historic shelters/huts (about 30mins walking).

Finally we will acquaint ourselves with the new proprietors of the Shingle Creek Tavern for soup and sandwiches before heading off to our respective homes.

$88 per person It is our intention to make this a fun couple of days where we re-discover some interesting historical places and socialise as a group over meal times…

We understand that we have lots of members local to the Roxburgh area and you may prefer to pop home for dinner or join us after breakfast on the Sunday. Therefore we have these extra options:

Dont want dinner at Lake Roxburgh Lodge? Take $30 off

Don’t need breakfast at the Teviot motels? Take $10 off

Don’t want lunch at Shingle Creek? Take $13 off

Please note: Fee includes a small ‘admin’ fee that goes towards things like paying for meals and petrol vouchers for tour guides/guest speakers.

You will need to bring your own packed lunch and snacks for Saturdays wanderings or you could purchase a packed lunch from the Commercial Hotel for $12 (please add to total).

If you are not currently a member you may wish to renew your membership with this transaction (please add $40 for a single or $65 for a family membership.)

Please include a cheque with the above form filled out and post back to us by Oct 1st. Download a registration form from here or give Terry a ring  (03 4450 111) and he’ll post you one out.


PO Box 91


Due to the nature of this trip numbers will be limited to 40 people max.

The above itinerary is weather dependant and subject to change.


I understand I must pay for my accommodation separately in addition to the above fee.

Lake Roxburgh Lodge (evenings dinner provider). Are you interested in staying in a 4 Star+ rated lodge for $60 per person? If we get enough interest we can book the whole place and stay quite reasonably – if you book individually it would cost between $150-$190 per room! Please let me know before 18th September so I can get back to them.

http://www.lakeroxburghlodge.co.nz/ 03 4468220

Teviot Motels (Sunday mornings breakfast venue) Around $25 per person, motor homes welcome. http://www.teviotmotels.co.nz 03446 8364

The Commercial Hotel and Backpackers (03) 4468160 $30 per person.