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Nenthorn Goldfield


You can barely see any trace of what once was a gold boom town between 1888-1891. 

The Nenthorn Goldfield was Otago's last quartz goldmining rush. After Gold was first discovered by William McMillan in 1888, the township was built quickly the following year and a small boom started. A lot of optimism about the quality and extent of the gold led to endless speculation and trading of shares. Unfortunately, the promised gold boom never eventuated, and the township collapsed. Here, discovery, boom and bust all occurred within the few short years of 1888-1891. 

There is only one sizeable ruin left today, which is thought to be Patrick Talty's St Bathans Hotel. 

Please be aware the following hazards include: old mine shafts, uneven ground, no cell phone coverage. 

For more information: 

  • Nenthorn - Gold and the Gullible (1988) by Terry Hearn. Available at Waitaki District Libraries

  • Exploring Nenthorn, New Zealand's 'invisible town' (2017) by Amanda Nunn. On Stuff

Latitude: -45:28:28.266
Longitude: 170:22:29.977

Easy walking track

Scenic views  & Photo opportunities


To get to the Nenthorn Goldfield, follow Macraes Rd from Macraes township south-west for about 3km. Turn left into Nenthorn Rd and follow for 9km. Turn left onto Ramrock Rd and follow for about 4km until you reach the entrance to the Nenthorn Conservation Area (managed by Department of Conservation). 

The Goldfields are about a 45-minute drive from Palmerston and SH1 via Dunback and Macraes.


Protection and guardianship are at the heart of the Geopark philosophy. We ask you to treat this site with respect, do not remove anything from this site and preserve it for our future generations.

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