Bendigo, Central Otago District, Otago Region, South Island, New Zealand
|Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):||44° 55' 33'' South , 169° 20' 39'' East|
|Latitude & Longitude (decimal):||-44.92589,169.34443|
|Köppen climate type:||Cfb : Temperate oceanic climate|
The Bendigo Goldfield was named by Australian miners after a goldfield by the same name in Victoria. The signposted turn-off is 20 kilometres north of Cromwell off State Highway 8.
Initially visitors reach the stone ruins of Bendigo, a town which serviced the goldfield. It's then a short drive into the hills to the former towns of Logantown and Welshtown, and the gold mining relics. There are several walks with a number of interpretative panels, ranging from wanders to a 5 hour loop trail. Seen in the area are several stone building ruins, shafts, adits, the Aurora and Matilda battery sites, water races, pipelines, and several evocative wooden carts.
Alluvial gold was discovered here in 1862 in auriferous gravels, and led to an initial gold rush, which declined after 1866. In 1863, Thomas Logan discovered Logan's Reef, one of the quartz lodes above the gravels. Several more reefs were discovered shortly after. Logan initially struggled to find capital to develop the mine, however was eventually successful as the Cromwell Quartz Mining Company, with mining beginning in 1869. The mine was incredibly rich in its early years. Several other companies were formed to mine neighbouring reefs at this time as part of a second rush, but with far less success. Activity on the goldfield occurred into the 1940's. It has been explored in recent years, although the areas heritage value would make any large scale open cast (pit) gold mine unlikely to be approved.
The restored Come In Time Battery and tunnel, as well as the Rise and Shine mine site are found along Thomson Gorge Road, approximately 7 and 12 kilometres respectively east to east south-east of Bendigo, and are considered by most sources also part of the goldfield. This road is 4 wheel drive, only open during summer.
The Department of Conservation notes on their information the removal of mining artefacts is illegal, and have been security marked.
A report from a collector was found for 1982, probably before the area was taken over by DOC, and advertised as a tourist attraction. The quartz reefs are bounded by brecciated schist rich in sulphides, oxides, carbonates, and arsenates. The dominant species is arsenopyrite, some forming crystals up to 5mms in vugs. There were pyrite masses, with a few pyritohedron crystals attached to clear quartz crystals in vugs, and tiny cubes. Rare sphalerite tetrahedral crystals. Galena associated with sphalerite, and rare crystals in breccia. Abundant massive calcite in breccia, and rarely in vugs are calcite rhombs to 3mms. Described as beautiful specimens of saddle shaped siderite light brown crystal specimens up to one inch long. Drusy dark green scorodite, with pharmacosiderite cubes on micro specimens.
Considering thousands of people visit the sites every year now, decent specimens (maybe any specimens) is unlikely. DOC is likely to be unimpressed about people digging through historic tailing dumps.
Note: Buy a decent road atlas. Google Maps list a winery where the goldfield is. Vineyards are in the area, but not at the goldfield itself. Also Thomsons Gorge Road is not shown its full length, and where some of the gold mine locations mentioned above are sited.
Mineral ListMineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities
14 valid minerals.
Rock Types Recorded
Rock list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities
Select Rock List TypeAlphabetical List Tree Diagram
Entries shown in red are rocks recorded for this region.
This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.
Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org
|Holocene - Late Pleistocene|
0 - 0.126 Ma
|OIS1 (Holocene) river deposits|
Age: Pleistocene (0 - 0.126 Ma)
Comments: Holocene river deposits. Age based on geomorphic estimate
Reference: Heron, D.W. . Geology Map of New Zealand 1:250 000. GNS Science Geological Map 1. 
0.0117 - 2.588 Ma
|Middle Quaternary till deposits|
Age: Pleistocene (0.0117 - 2.588 Ma)
Stratigraphic Name: Pakihi Supergroup
Reference: Edbrooke, S.W., Heron, D.W., Forsyth, P.J., Jongens, R. (compilers). Geology Map of New Zealand 1:1 000 000. GNS Science Geological Map 2. 
|Triassic - Permian|
201.3 - 298.9 Ma
|Paleozoic-Mesozoic crystalline metamorphic rocks|
Age: Phanerozoic (201.3 - 298.9 Ma)
Stratigraphic Name: Haast Schist
Comments: Caples Terrane
Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529.