Poolburn Serpentine private full day tour

Poolburn Serpentine private full day tour
Tours & Sightseeing > Full-day Tours > All-day Tour
$265.92
Duration: 1 day
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Description

This full day expedition provides a wonderful opportunity to explore some of Central Otago’s best kept secrets, namely: historic Ophir township, Poolburn Dam, the Serpentine Road, one of New Zealand's most remote Churches and the Old Dunstan Road.

  • Private groups (2 - 4 passengers per vehicle)
  • Total flexibility with tour
  • Photographers paradise
  • Discrete
  • Full commentary and interpretation
  • Authentic New Zealand high country experience 
  • Pickup time and location by arrangement
  • Delicious morning tea and lunch provided

From Queenstown we head to Central Otago, stopping at the historic Clyde township for a quick stroll and morning tea and then on to Ophir. Ophir,  originally known as Blacks, was a thriving gold mining town built on the back 1863 gold rush. During these years it became a commercial and social hub with a population of 1000, a far cry from its current population of 50! It is of historical interest due to the many original buildings including the restored Post and Telegraph Office, the 1895 Courthouse, and the 1870s Police Station. After a stop at Pitches Store, we travel to the Ida Valley and climb up to the Poolburn Dam to navigate our way through a very different and expansive Central Otago landscape. From here, we make our way towards the old gold mining township of Serpentine, named after the winding path of the nearby Waimonga Creek. 

Over 1,000 m above sea level, the Serpentine church was the most elevated in New Zealand when it opened in 1873. Today it is the only remnant of a once-bustling village. Much of the town’s rich heritage is hidden beneath the tussock: tailings, water races, dams, sod pits and the remains of buildings.

The area became known as the Serpentine after the discovery of gold in 1863 transformed this remote area into a vibrant gold-mining town. A settlement quickly sprang up, with two store-hotels, a church, blacksmiths, a cemetery, and huts of sod, wood and thatch with gardens and potato-storage pits. The formed road you come in on follows part of the original dray track used by miners. The Serpentine reached its peak population (150 Chinese and 80 Europeans) around 1873.

The Poolburn Reservoir was built in the early 1930s for irrigation and a great depression employment initiative. Its striking scenery has been popularised by being used as a location in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

Highlights of the day include:

  • Available on our guided tour or tag along or passenger tour
  • Serpentine Road
  • Remote 1873 Church
  • Poolburn Reservoir
  • Original Dunstan Road
  • Historic Clyde
  • Historic Ophir
  • Pitches Store, Ophir
  • 1878 stamping battery
  • and much more..

 

Full day tours depart 8:15 am, or as arranged.

Pickups at local accommodation by arrangement. These prices are for private vehicle charter. You will not be with other people or groups.

This full day expedition provides a wonderful opportunity to explore some of Central Otago’s best kept secrets, namely: historic Ophir township, Poolburn Dam, the Serpentine Road, one of New Zealand's most remote Churches and the Old Dunstan Road.

  • Private groups (2 - 4 passengers per vehicle)
  • Total flexibility with tour
  • Photographers paradise
  • Discrete
  • Full commentary and interpretation
  • Authentic New Zealand high country experience 
  • Pickup time and location by arrangement
  • Delicious morning tea and lunch provided