Panning for gold

Image: Grant Eaton | Creative Commons


Enjoy historic Booth's Cottage and try your hand at gold prospecting, at Glenhope Scenic Reserve, 16 km from St Arnaud.

Place overview


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Find things to do and places to stay Glenhope Scenic Reserve

About this place

History and culture

Historic Booth's Cottage

Booth's Cottage is not available for overnight accommodation.

Situated in a small forest clearing, above Louis Creek on an old miners’ track, is historic Booth's Cottage, dating back to the 1930s. This cottage was built by Sid Booth and Ray Clarke in 1933 during the Depression when both were on the government Gold Prospecting Subsidy Scheme. Booth's Cottage was the family home of Sid and Eva Booth and their son Teddy for over 10 years. Sid was often away mining or doing other work for months at a time and Eva and Teddy stayed at the cottage.

A telephone line was connected to the hut in the 1940s. Bulbs and other plantings from the family’s garden and a variety of artefacts including old footwear and bottles are visible around the clearing. Ted Booth was one of the group to help with remedial work in 1995. It has a historic theme of gold mining and more recently one of recreation although it is not used for overnight accommodation.

The long rectangular cottage (11 x 2.5m) has four rooms and is mainly built of lapped beech slab over pole beech framing with a corrugated iron roof. A similarly constructed shed stands at the eastern end of the cottage. It appears to have been constructed in four distinct stages. Remedial work was carried out in 1995 by the Department of Conservation with the help of the Louis Creek Miners Association. This is a hut built with rough bush-carpentry methods, with tacked-on additions as required. The horizontal lapped slabs are a variation on the theme of slab construction. It is representative of depression mining huts on the Howard Goldfield.

Historic significance

One of the few remaining huts from the depression gold mining era in the Howard area. Gives an insight into the basic lifestyle prevalent on the Howard Goldfield. Associated with one family who stayed on after most had left.

How to get to Booth's Cottage
  1. Start at the beginning of Howard Valley Road.
  2. Go down Howard Valley Road for 6.6 km until Louis Creek Road. GPS: -41.771398, 172.662311
  3. Turn onto Louis Creek Road and go down it for 2 km until you reach the miners memorial at the end of the road. This road is only suitable for high clearance 4WD vehicles only.
  4. At the end of this road, there are tracks leading to Louis Creek and to Booths Cottage. The track to Booth's Cottage passes the Jeweller's Shop.
  5. The track to Booth's Cottage takes 1 hr 30 mins.

Getting there

To get to Glenhope Scenic Reserve turn off SH63 onto Howard Valley Rd, 16 km north-west of St Arnaud.


Rotoiti / Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 521 1806
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   View Road
St Arnaud
Postal Address:   PO Box 55
St Arnaud 7053
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