The cemetery is a landmark of the once thriving mining
community of Macetown, near Arrowtown, which will be
explored in a public event this weekend organised by the
Department of Conservation. Photo by Stew Hardie.
A chance to explore historic Macetown is back on this
weekend, complete with 4WD tour, guided walks, a welcoming
campfire and evening music.
The Department of Conservation (Doc) Wakatipu area office
will host the rescheduled Macetown Miners camp on March 16
and 17, after high Arrow River levels forced the postponement
of the original trip during the Gold 150 celebrations in
Doc Wakatipu community relations ranger Susie Geh said people
could come for the day, or stay the night and come to the
Macetown cemetery panel unveiling on Sunday morning.
A picket fence marked the cemetery, which contained three
unknown graves, rediscovered by a government surveyor in
1976, and a fourth unknown grave found by the same surveyor
using a ground-penetrating scanner in 2007.
Southern Explorer would lead the tag-along 4WD tour and the
Shotover 4WD club kindly agreed to assist again, Miss Geh
''If you don't have a 4WD, they have spaces available and
will take people along so everyone can join in. Bookings for
this are still essential.''
Between 40 and 80 individuals were expected to participate,
based on the 10 spaces booked with the club and the six
parties who emailed Miss Geh to register interest. More
people were welcome. Visitors to Macetown would be greeted
with a cup of tea and a scone or damper.
The walks would be guided by historical Wakatipu authorities
and suit varying abilities. Walks ranged from a tour around
the former township to a venture further afield to the
Homeward Bound Battery and Premier Mine sites.
''We are also really lucky that local legend and author Alan
Hamilton has agreed to come for the day on Saturday,'' Miss
''He will no doubt have some great stories to share and will
know plenty of Macetown's history.''
The Wakatipu Heritage Trust will be hosting the Macetown
Basket Auction on Saturday at lunchtime.
Participants were invited to give their home-baked goods, or
preserves, in a ''basket'', although a box or shopping bag
Voluntary auctioneer Austin Bragg, of Millbrook Property,
would take bids for each basket amd whoever won the basket
got to eat dinner with the supplier.
Proceeds from the auction would go towards the trust's
restoration of Arrowtown jail.
Miss Geh said visitors would need to supply their own food,
walking gear, insect repellent and camping gear for the
The 4WD convoy would depart the Arrowtown Chinese settlement
for Macetown on Saturday, March 16, at 10am. It was free for
those taking their own vehicle, or cost a $10 donation ($5
for children) towards fuel if travelling with the Shotover
''We want to get people to explore the historical areas on
their doorstep and get people in there who normally couldn't
get access,'' Miss Geh said.
• Those who want to join in the Macetown expedition can call
Miss Geh on (03) 442-8508.