Cromwell is a small town with an interesting history. Originally called the Junction to represent the point where the Clutha and Kawarau Rivers join, the area was a mecca for gold miners in the 1800’s. Today the surrounding hills are littered with reminders of these staunch pioneers and gold-seekers. The remains of stone cottages, mining equipment, shafts, and old sluicing boxes can be seen - some can even be visited.
During the construction of the massive hydro systems of the South Island in the 1970s Cromwell town centre was relocated to make way for Lake Dunstan which formed after the valley was flooded in 1992. Some parts of the old town remain and you can see those by following the signposts.
Still a popular junction, Cromwell is a busy township renowned for its fruit growing industry, tourism, and farming. The wines of the region are also gaining a global reputation as many award-winning Pinot's originate here and nearby Bannockburn. Wineries such as Lowburn Ferry, Felton Road, Mount Difficulty, Rockburn, and Wooing Tree are making a name for themselves locally and internationally with their fine produce.
Take a tour through this 35ha orchard on an electric tour bus and learn the fascinating story of how the orchard begun, its history, machinery, pollination, pruning, thinning, pest & frost protection, irrigation, markets, picking & packing. You will get the opportunity to pick some fruit from the trees in season - everything from cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, greengages apples or pears to eat and take home with you! You can handpick your own fruit ready for harvest late November to April or if you're visiting during the off season (May to mid November) your tour will be completed with box of produce from the Fruitstall.
The Goldfields Mining Centre is a special place where visitors can gain an appreciation of the life and working environment of those early miners who struggled against the harsh and sometimes dangerous conditions along Central Otago’s famed Kawarau Gorge.
Located on the banks of the spectacular Kawarau River, the Goldfields Mining Centre is an historic reserve which has been set aside by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation to preserve an authentic mining site where gold has been mined for over 100 years and can still be found in the rocks & gravels of this unique area.