"Otago Gold" Top 5 Page for this destination Otago by TheWanderingCamel
Otago Travel Guide: 1,624 reviews and 4,330 photos
Golden hues wash over the hills and valleys of Otago, where once men undertook journeys and withstood harsh conditions that tested their strength and endurance far more than any of the extreme sports that now attract tourists in great numbers to this place. The thrills and spills the tourists are seeking are nothing like as alluring as the promise of wealth that drew those men - and their wives and children - to the New Zealand Gold Rush of the 1860s. Gold was "the colour" that filled their dreams and tales of rivers that ran with gold lured them on.
The Rush was fabulously rich - and very short-lived. Fortunes were made but lives were lost and hearts were broken in the quest. Many moved on once the Rush was over - new fields in Australia promised their own colour - and townships that once housed hundreds in little stone and wooden houses - and thousands in calico tents - shrank to tiny hamlets, whilst others were left to the ghosts alone.
The history and romance of that era is easy to find nowadays - and there's something for everyone. Picturesque little Arrowtown - full of shops and tour buses - is the most "touristy", and certainly the busiest, of all the places you'll find but there are plenty of other sites, some very isolated and evocative, each with their own tales to tell.
The 1860s Gold Rush saw the wealth of the region being removed. Nowadays the Rush is flowing the other way as the numbers of visitors increases every year, drawn by all the region has to offer. Otago really does have something for everyone. Whether your taste is for adventure tourism - this is the home of white-knuckle attractions such as bungey-jumping and jet-boat rides - terror tourism of every kind is on offer here - and backpacker hostels, or the more genteel pleasures offered by the stunning scenery, excellent vineyards, the golden past, looking for Middle Earth and Narnia, crystal clear trout streams, luxury lodges and cosy farmstays, winter snowsports or summertime lake cruises - it's all here.
I have to say, I feel now is the time to come. Having just returned from our biennial visit to the region ( Wanaka's Warbirds are our excuse) the growth in tourism is really noticeable and there were places and times when we felt it would not be long before the pressure of that increase would begin to really tell.
Of course it's all relative ....
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TheWanderingCamel's Related Pages
Otago Travel Guide
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- "Otago Gold"
- "A Dry Land with Green Hills, Blue Lakes + Penguins"
- "Otago - Queenstown & Surroundings"
- "Central Otago,a day trip from Queenstown"
- "Otago has a lot to see."
- "The Southern Scene"
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- 126 Photos
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- 1 Cities
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