Rugged Central Otago Gold Trail


Rugged Central Otago Gold Trail



    This full-day tour takes us to the wild and rugged hills and mountains east of Queenstown. It's further than most of our tours, but it takes us into some very different country. No verdant lakes and picture-perfect mountains here. This is rugged, dry, high altitude tussock country.First settled a mere 160 years ago, these alien landscapes became home to thousands of fortune seekers from around the world. Shanty towns sprung up overnight, collections of shops, pubs and brothels catering to the needs of the men. These towns were outposts in a harsh wilderness. Some, like Cromwell and Alexandra, grew to become the civic centres of today, others shrank or disappeared altogether. We explore the back roads, cross the tor studded hills and mountains, visit the ghost towns and capture the history of this stunning and fascinating region

    Our route on the day will be determined by group preferences, weather, light and road conditions.


    • 8-9 Hours, Minimum 2, Maximum 4 persons
    • PICK-UP & DROP-OFF. We pick you up from your Queenstown accommodation and drop you back when the day is over.
    • LIGHT REFRESHMENTS. Coffee, tea and biscuits are offered and we stop to buy lunch in a local village.
    • FLEXIBLE TOUR. Our itinerary will be determined on the day by group preferences, weather and light conditions. This itinerary is an example to inspire you with what we can see on this route. To discuss options, contact us.
    • ALL WEATHER TOUR. NZ is the land of four seasons in one day. We are equipped to handle all weather and to capture this region in all it's beautiful moods. TOURS CANCELLED only in dangerous conditions.
    • PROFESSIONAL MENTORING. We show you how to find and compose great shots and get more from your camera.

Capture the beauty, and man's struggle to tame it.

It doesn’t matter which direction we go from Queenstown there are great sites to explore. Much of the struggle for gold took place east of Queenstown where the landscape is rugged, rocky and arid. Going in this direction we can visit amazing sites like Gee’s Flat, deep in the Kawarau Gorge, the Bannockburn Sluicings and the remains of Carrick Town with its great water wheel high up on the range with the expanse of the Cromwell basin spread out below.Further east, beyond Alexandra, we encounter the wild hills of Rough Ridge, dotted with crazy, wind-worn, rock tors and then on to Moa Creek with its solitary old pub. Our farthest point is Poolburn dam.

With so many options in this direction, tell us what interests you most. We'll discuss it with the group and take light and weather conditions into account to design a great day's photography.


  • A great range of amazing vistas and photo opportunities
  • Off the beaten track
  • Lots of local knowledge and information
  • Tuition to help you compose and capture great images

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