Replenishing supplies to Macetown, circa 1890. Photo from
Lakes District Museum Collection, Ref: EL49.
If you think the winter of 2009 is a particularly cold
one, look at today's historic image from the Lakes District
It shows miners carrying winter supplies back to the
gold-mining town of Macetown about 1890.
They are treading carefully around a frozen waterfall beside
the Arrow River.
Macetown was established about 1862 after the discovery of
gold in the river, and was named after three Mace brothers,
John, Charles and Harry, who mined there.
The town had a population of about 300 in 1863, but had
slipped to 113 in the 1901 census, and by the 1930s was
According to the Department of Conservation website, Macetown
attracts about 7500 visitors a year.
They come by foot, mountainbike or 4WD, and make their way
along a 16km road from Arrowtown,which crosses the Arrow
River 22 times.
Macetown is one of the most intact and accessible historic
goldfield towns managed by Doc in Otago.