The Naseby and Surrounding Goldfields 150th Jubilee will
start tomorrow, meaning a golden start to the new year in the
Naseby was once a thriving town and the business hub of
Maniototo, home to 5000 goldminers after the discovery of
gold in the area in 1863.
Gold was discovered when miners spread through the
Manuherikia and Ida Valleys after the Dunstan rush, which was
instigated by Horatio Hartley and Christopher Reilly, who
found gold in the Cromwell Gorge in the winter of 1862.
Naseby is now a much quieter town with a much smaller
population, although remnants of the golden years remain.''
We live among the history here,'' jubilee organiser Marilyn
The celebrations begin with a Victorian and miner-themed
family fun day at the Naseby Recreation Ground from 1pm, with
the official opening at 3pm.
The family fun day is traditionally held on January 1. Mrs
Swinbourn said because it was so ''loved by generations'' of
locals and holidaymakers, they did not want to change that.
The highlight of the week-long celebrations will be the
parade and concert on January 5.
That parade will involve people, floats and machinery -
''everything that's representative of the districts''.
The Going for Gold walk from Naseby to Waipiata would be
another highlight, Mrs Swinbourn said.
As of Saturday, 30 people had registered to take the 19km
trek from the indoor curling rink and trace the footsteps of
the early miners over the gravel roads of the Maniototo
Once in Waipiata, there will be live entertainment and
stagecoach rides, then transport back to Naseby.
The lead-up to the celebrations included the advent of a new
business in Naseby - The Naseby Sewing Room, run by Mrs
Swinbourn and Dot Davidson, of Ranfurly.
Since October, the pair have put their sewing skills to work
and created a huge number of Victorian costumes for people
wanting to dress in theme for the occasion.''
I've completely lost count,'' Mrs Swinbourn said.
January 1: Victorian/Miners-themed Naseby Family Fun
Day from 1pm at the Naseby recreation ground; official
January 2: Going for Gold walk from Naseby to
Waipiata, tracing the footsteps of the early miners. Depart
from the indoor curling rink between 8am and 9am.
January 3: Horse trek over high-country trails;
four-wheel-drive tours in the Danseys Pass area; visit
Oturehua; guided walks from the Naseby Town Hall, 7pm.
January 4: Vintage machinery display, Ranfurly goods
shed; Victorian tea party on the Ranfurly village green
1pm-4pm; Naseby Bowling Club's 150th Classic.
January 5: 150th Jubilee parade from 1pm, followed by
entertainment at the Naseby Recreation Ground.
January 6: Church service at 11am followed by official
closing; ''Cribbies v Locals'' cricket match.