IntroductionA short loop through kānuka shrubland, featuring the remains of old stone huts.
From the Welshtown car park, the Aurora Track winds down through kānuka shrubland and across Aurora Creek to Logantown. There are remains of old stone huts along the way.
Return via the Ridge Dray Track or up the road.
The track starts on Blue Mines Road.
Starting in Cromwell:
- Head north on SH8.
- After around 14 km turn right onto Bendigo Loop Road – this turns into a gravel road.
- Turn right onto Blue Mines Road after around 600 metres.
- Continue for around 2.4 km until the start of the track.
On Blue Mines Road you'll pass the schoolhouse ruins at Schoolhouse Flat, the main historic site of Logantown, Welshtown, and mining remnants.
There are old and very deep mining shafts throughout this area. Watch out for these and keep children closely supervised.
Gold was found here in 1862 and brought an immediate influx of miners and prospectors clambering over the hills. The accessible alluvial gold petered out in 1865, but gold-bearing quartz reefs were discovered and underground mines sprang up.
By 1875, the Bendigo reef was said to be the richest and best defined in Otago. Mining continued until 1943 when the government mining subsidy was withdrawn. Renewed interest since then has triggered activity in the 1980s and again early in the 2000s. The historic reserve preserves the gold-mining relics of the area’s hard-rock quartz mining history.
There are mine shafts, tunnels, stone huts, stamper batteries, heavy machinery, water races, dams and pipelines.