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Aorere Goldfields

I always dream of finding a giant gold nugget. Instead, the Goldfields track is next best – lots and lots of gorse and manuka, with precious views over glowing Golden Bay.

A 3 hour mountain bike ride on 4wd track that ranges from sandy smooth to rocky rough, the Aorere Goldfields trail starts on Plains Road, and finishes at Michael Smith’s shearing shed at the Devil’s Boots. One of the best rides in Golden Bay.

Take a side trip to the Parapara River to see the old dam, used to power hydraulic sluicing downstream. Watch out for bees working the manuka. Clamber into Ballroom Cave, and wander near Druggan’s Dam.

From the track, take a steep drop and detour to Slate River. Enjoy the superb views above to Parapara Peak, across to Farewell spit, and of the Aorere valley.

Site of New Zealand’s first goldrush, the Aorere field, like all good goldfields, never amounted to much. Maybe my nugget is still there after all!

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