After a night in Riverton we went on to the Longwood Range and had an hour’s walk through an old goldmining area called the Long Hilly, or Roundhill, Walk.
The Longwood Range has the the same volcanic rocks as Nelson! The rocks of the ‘median batholith’ have been separated by tens of thousands of years of shift along the Alpine Fault.
Two Italians are credited for first finding gold in the Longwood Range but it was ignored by them and many others as being too poor and difficult to work. The Chinese were the ones to run with it and up to 500 worked long hours to turn a good profit. Once some of the European companies realised how much they were finding they became interested and the existing water races were extended for up to 40 kilometres away. Eventually a European company took over and sluiced the fields on a large scale using hydraulic elevating. There is little sign of the activity now as bush has largely overgrown it again.