|Location:||4km north of Charleston. On the road from SH 6 Westport to Punakaiki. 22km south of Westport, 38km north Pancake Rocks.|
All year daily 9-16.
Adults NZD 10, Children (0-15) free.
|Guided tours:||self guided, D=40min.|
|Address:||Mitchells Gully Gold Mine, SH 6, Charleston, Tel: +64-3-789-6553, Fax: +64-3-789-6257, Free: 0800-105756. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|AUG-1866||gold discovered by Timothy and Mark Linahan, mine established.|
|1884||start of the decline.|
The gold at Mitchells Gully Gold Mine was discovered in August 1866 by Timothy and Mark Linahan and a party travelling north from Hokitika. The discovery caused the New Zealand gold rush, in October the population had risen to 1,200 people, one year later to 18,000, and three years later 40,000. But this was very difficult as there were at first no roads, not even tracks, and in the first year the starving miners were rescued by Charles Bonner, Captain of the ketch Constant. He brought much needed supplys, and to his honour the city was named Charleston.
At Mitchells Gully Gold Mine the old tunnels of the mine can be visited on self guided tours. Here the gold bearing ore was mined underground. In front of the opening is a stamping battery, rebuilt on the original site, wich crushed the ore to release the gold from the iron rich sand. Once more than 300 stampers worked here and the mine was worked 24 hours dialy. The mine produced four million ounces of gold in total.
The site also has a miners train called ore tram, and several short bushwalks. There is an exhibition of local fossils. Manuka Cottage produces Manuka Oil (Leptospermun scoparium) which is said to have antifungal and antibacterial properties.