About Naseby

Originally a gold mining settlement named Parkers, Naseby nestles in the foothills of the Mount Ida Range in Central Otago.

With a population of around 120 people, Naseby can be very hot during summer. In winter it’s the ice skating and curling capital of New Zealand.

As well as the indoor curling rink, an outdoor ice rink operates from June to August while you can also skate on natural ice at the Centennial Pond.

Other local attractions include golf, hiking or biking the Goldfields Heritage Trail, and fishing for trout at the dam. Accommodation options include a holiday park, historic hotels, holiday cottages and private lodges.

Courtesy of http://www.newzealand.com

History of Naseby

While Sheep Farming preceded gold mining in the district by about a decade, Naseby came into existence in 1863 when gold was discovered close to where it stands now. Later that year the town was moved to get at the rich ground beneath it. The majority of the town's first buildings were of a wooden frame with a calico (cloth) construction and 20 canvas shops lined each side of the muddy main street.

Like many other Central Otago settlements, its name changed from time to time. It was first called Parker's (after William and Richard Parker), then Hogburn, and for some years prior to 1874, Mt. Ida.

Since the mid-1920s gold mining has steadily declined and has now ceased. Hydraulic sluicing has destroyed much land, but larch and other coniferous trees have been established on the old workings and have largely arrested the progressive erosion.

When the town grew, the buildings become more permanent - timber frames with walls and roof covered with corrugated iron sheets. Some buildings were made of flat schist and glacial moraine stone with a corrugated iron covered roof, and others were constructed from adobe (sun dried mud brick).

No fewer than 20 Hotels eventually operated in the town at the peak of the Gold Rush. A Court House and County Office were established, banks, a school, churches, a town hall, police station and commercial enterprises such as stables and grocers, all contributed to a thriving community.

Largely as a result of political pressure, the establishment of the Central Otago Railway through the centre of the Maniototo Plain saw Naseby lose its importance as Ranfurly became the main service town around the 1930's. Many of the original miners cottages, and other buildings still remain in use today in Naseby.

Farming and Forestry are the main industries in the district today and many of the initial run holders families still farm here today four generations on. Much valuable information on the mining and social activities of the district is contained in the local newspaper, Mount Ida Chronicle, which ran from February 1869 to December 1926, and these records can be viewed at the Local Early Settlers Museum in the town.

Information courtesy of: The Ancient Briton Hotel

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