FT2: Southern South Island Gold Fields

FT2: Southern South Island Gold Fields

This field trip to the Otago and Southland goldfields, visits historic sites, and active mines and prospects. The trip will visit placer and orogenic gold deposits including the Macraes that is mined by open-pit and underground methods producing approximately 150,000 oz of gold annually, with more than 4 Moz gold produced since 1990.



  • Wednesday 27 March: Assemble in Dunedin for an evening meet and greet. Overnight in Dunedin.
  • Thursday 28 March: Depart 8:00 am for Lawrence, placer deposit, site of Otago gold rush initiation 1861. Drive via Raes Junction to Southland, visit Waikaia active placer mine. Drive to Queenstown for overnight.
  • Friday 29 March: Drive to Glenorchy, visit historic scheelite mining area; involves 1 – 2 hours walking. Afternoon, drive to Skippers Canyon, orogenic and placer gold mining area. Return to Queenstown accommodation.
  • Saturday 30 March: Drive to Rise & Shine historic orogenic and placer mining area, examine prospectivity with respect to abundant recent drilling and proposed open pit and heap leach mining. Drive over Dunstan Range (weather and road permitting), visit Conroys Gully historic placer and orogenic mining area. Overnight in Alexandra.
  • Sunday 28 March: Drive via Ophir historic placer and orogenic mining area to St Bathans historic placer mine. Visit Oturehua orogenic vein system, mined historically and extensively prospected recently. Overnight in Naseby.
  • Monday 1 April: Drive via Hyde to Macraes mine. Drive via Golden Bar road to Golden Bar pit for visit of old open cut. Drive to Dunedin for evening airport departure or overnight accommodation at delegates own expense. The evening (last) flight to Auckland is: Air New Zealand flight NZ678 departs Dunedin 6:05 pm and arrives 7:50 pm (1 hr 45 min)


NOTE: This field trip is subject to confirmation and minimum numbers. Some activities may be weather dependent.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: This geological trip assumes a normal level of field fitness. Participants will need to be able to walk for two or more hours over uneven terrain. Sturdy footwear is essential and wet weather gear, sun hat and sunscreen are advised. If you are a visitor to New Zealand, you should arrange for travel and medical insurance before travelling to New Zealand, because many medical services are not free to overseas visitors.


Please click here  to download a PDF of the information for this field trip

Share with your social network.






NZ $2500 (Early bird) | NZ $2800 (Standard)


Road transport during the field trip

Breakfasts and dinners for 5 days

Accommodation (twin share) for 5 nights







Dave Craw, Geology Department, University of Otago

Dave is Professor of economic geology at University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. He has worked on gold and tectonically driven hydrothermal fluid flow in ancient and modern mountain belts around the world for more than 30 years. He has particular experience with orogenic and placer gold deposits of the South Island of New Zealand, including the Otago Schist and the world-class Macraes orogenic deposit.



Macraes gold mine, east Otago. Photo: OceanaGold