Golden opportunities seen at mining centre

Gold-mining artefacts at Goldfields Mining Centre. Photos: Mountain Scene
Gold-mining artefacts at Goldfields Mining Centre. Photos: Mountain Scene
A gold-mining centre on the Queenstown tourist trail with "phenomenal" potential is on the market.

Goldfields Mining Centre, in Kawarau Gorge on the Queenstown-Cromwell highway,  has been substantially developed by the Egerton family over the past 30 years.

The next owner will also inherit a new development-friendly 30-year lease with the Department of Conservation over 17 hectares of historic goldfields land above the Kawarau River.

Queenstown-based TourismProperties.com broker Adrian Chisholm, who is handling the sale, said the site’s biggest potential would be realised once the planned cycleway, due to connect Queenstown with the Otago Central Rail Trail starting in Clyde, is complete.

Complementing that, the new lease, which commenced in March, allows visitor accommodation for the first time within a 6ha  development zone.

Mr Chisholm said the only limitation was any new building was likely to have to be transported to the site. Goldfields Mining Centre already operates guided or self-guided tours of various goldfields buildings and artefacts including a "Chinese village" reconstructed for a TV series.

Adrian Chisholm goes gold-panning.
Adrian Chisholm goes gold-panning.
There are also gold-panning, a wedding/function venue and a souvenir giftshop.

Jet-boating and any rafting or river surfing businesses operating from the site pay a licence fee for each passenger.

For the past five years, Wild Earth winery has also operated from Goldfields, although it is  shifting  to Cromwell this month.

"The food and beverage operation will be available for the new owner to operate or sub-lease," Mr Chisholm said.

"There’s the opportunity to have a cellar door for one of the Central Otago vineyards."

Beyond that, Mr Chisholm said possible new attractions included hot tubs, horse and cart rides, petting animals for children and sub-tenancies like a coffee cart, goldsmith or blacksmith or an artist-in-residence, along with the opportunity to ramp up gold-panning activities.

"It’s a phenomenal opportunity, because people now want to get off the beaten track, so to speak, and there’s 17ha of off-the-beaten track, 100 metres from the winding state highway.

"It’s a goldmine in every sense of the word."

The sale is by private treaty with "price on application" — understood to be about $1 million.

Annual rental to Doc is a percentage of turnover.

- Philip Chandler

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