- Place or Historical Monument
- Off the beaten track
Built during the gold rush in the second half of the 19th Century, Cromwell is also known for its numerous orchards. With the discovery of gold mines, thousands of miners moved to the area and a host of villages sprung up around the town. After having trekked my way up a dirt road to the top of a hill several kilometers from the town, I came across the former mining village of Bendigo. Ruins of old buildings still stand there, overlooking the valley. A short walk further on took me to some protected gold mines - all in a stunning countryside, where a sky blue and yellow landscape contrasts with the snow capped peaks that surround it.
The town of Cromwell was built on the banks of Clutha River, the second longest in New Zealand. I recommend that you head along the road that follows it, be it in the direction of Queenstown or Roxburgh. You'll find yourself in an amazing, richly diverse landscape. If you're feeling energetic, you can rent bikes and follow the Clutha Gold Trail, which links several towns in the region. It's a great alternative for sporty types.
Whatever you do, you must visit Old Cromwell, the reconstructed and restored parts of the original village that give an insight into times gone by. If you're a wine lover you can do a tour of the local vineyards and try a glass or two of Pinot Noir. Personally, I recommend Domain Road!