This is a unique opportunity to traverse four private sheep stations and follow the original route that the early pioneers took to travel to Central Otago in search of gold. We will follow in exactly the same tracks that the wagons went over and get some idea of the hardships and obstacles they faced.
We will be accompanied by Grahame Sydney, who will have available signed copies of his wonderful book, ‘Promised Land’ and he will be narrating some of the anecdotal history along the trail.
Tour assembles at 8.30 am prompt in Alexandra and we will start from opposite the PGG Wrightson store on Tarbert St, alongside Centennial Park
The tour is limited to 30 - 4WD vehicles (maximum)
The tour is restricted to genuine 4WD vehicles. 4WD cars are not permitted due to the terrain. If you do not have a suitable vehicle and want to come along we will attempt to marry you up with others who may have spare seats available. This arrangement has worked well in the past with some newfound friends.
The tour heads towards Galloway station and onto Olrig Station where we start onto the Old Dunstan Road. We head into the hills and will see and drive over the original road benching, revetting and stone culverts. We will pass onto Idavale station with the Crawford Hills on the right and the Raggedy Range on the left, and reach the summit of the ridge before we drop steeply into the Ida Valley at Moa Creek.
We then take the Old Dunstan Road to Poolburn Dam and follow the trail over Rough Ridge to Linnburn station, descending along the original trail to the Blackball Hotel. At the hotel we again resume the original trail onto Stonehenge station and climb up, over and descend to the Styx Hotel where we will have BYO lunch. There are 2 very rustic toilets available - BYO roll.
Grahame Sydney will talk and narrate over lunch about the Trail and will have for sale his book ‘Promised Land’ which covers the entire route of the early miners over the Old Dunstan Road and is a wonderful collection of early and modern photographs, quotations and reporting of the facts of the day. Cost is $35 per copy (cash only on the day). Grahame will also sign copies for you.
After lunch we will take the Old Dunstan Road over the Rock and Pillar range past Great Moss Swamp to Deep Stream and Rocklands station and onto Clarks Junction. The guided tour ends at this point and we recommend the return journey via Middlemarch, Hyde, Kokonga and SH85 back to Central Otago.
Cost for the tour is $25 per person for non HPA members. If you join HPA on the day the admission will be reduced to $15 per person. If you are a member of HPT you will need to join HPA separately to qualify for the reduced rate.
Please note the 4WD vehicle requirements. You will require a full tank of gas to complete the journey back to Central Otago for this all day tour.
If you require a seat in another vehicle please let us know ASAP.
To register your attendance, or if you require further information about any aspects of the tour please contact:
David White – Chairman, Historic Places Central Otago: firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 445 4777