Every year a small team of DOC staff from Te Anau look forward to their annual heritage site maintenance trip to Preservation Inlet, Fiordland - the most south westerly place in New Zealand.
In the late 1890s, this location was home to over 2,500 gold miners and saw millers. It was also the location of one of New Zealand's most remote lighthouse settlements.
Over the past 20 years the team from Te Anau has explored this remote area for old gold miner’s tracks, tramways and roads. Tracks are checked each year for definition, tramways cleared of windfall, the old road out to the lighthouse settlement cleared of vegetation and all the old drainage systems cleared and cleaned. The walk from Otago Retreat out to the lighthouse is one of our most popular heritage walks; almost every visitor to the coast walks out to Puysegur Point.
Two historic buildings also receive annual maintenance and several gold crushing batteries are visited for vegetation control and monitoring. New Zealand’s first Whaling Station site and one of the most interesting smelter complexes also has an annual tidy up.
Fort further information about heritage management on the Fiordland Coast, read ‘New Zealand’s Fiord Heritage’ by Neville Peat. Order through the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre.