Lindis Pass Historic Area

Nine Mile Historic Reserve, Old Faithfull Road, LINDIS PASS

Quick links:

The Lindis Pass Historic Area, the features of which include the striking ruins of the Lindis Pass Hotel, alluvial gold mining remains, and Watson Thompson’s hut, represents the first gold rush in Otago, and the subsequent mining history of the Lindis Pass area. The Lindis Pass Historic Area has significant archaeological remains of the alluvial mining from the 1860s – including sluicing faces, a water race, and tailings. There is also the associated Lindis Pass Hotel ruin that has significant original fabric remaining and shows nineteenth century stone masonry techniques using local materials. There are additionally mining remains from the Depression era mining near Camp Creek. The Lindis Pass Historic Area has special significance as the site of the largely forgotten beginnings of Otago’s gold rush era. Because the rush was short, the alluvial remains have survived, providing a special insight into gold mining in Otago. While gold had been reported in many parts of Otago by the late 1850s, Samuel MacIntyre’s find on the Lindis River 1861 was the first find of gold in payable quantities. A contemporary report rhapsodised: ‘[t]he country in every direction seems to be literally teeming with gold. Wherever you go you can get a few specks, and as all the gold found yet is considerably water-worn, I have no doubt large “finds” will be got the nearer the fountain head is approached.’ While the rush was short, and dwindled in the face of the rush to Gabriel’s Gully later that year, it was Otago’s first experience of a gold rush, and one that heralded the chaos that was to shape the province. Mining continued in a small way throughout the nineteenth century, although it was pastoralism that provided the steady employment and income in the area. There was a brief resurgence with the dredging in the late 1890s, and the Depression era government subsidised mining of the 1930s. Travellers stopping for a break on the torturous Lindis Road were among the main visitors to the area until the hotel closed around 1950. The Lindis Pass is in a semi-alpine setting, and the route between Central and North Otago, and on to the McKenzie Country. The landscape is spectacular with bleak tussock-covered peaks, and the Lindis River winding through steep gorges. The site of the Lindis Pass Hotel and the associated Nine Mile Historic Reserve with its gold mining remains mark the old route through the pass. The Lindis Pass Hotel site is located between the old Lindis Road and the Lindis River. In 2014, the Lindis Pass Historic Area is recognised by the Nine Mile Historic Reserve, commemorating the earliest days of the Otago gold rushes.

Lindis Pass Historic Area. Lindis Pass Hotel Ruins | Heather Bauchop | 28/08/2014 | Heritage New Zealand
Lindis Pass Historic Area. Lindis Pass Hotel Ruins. Image courtesy of | Shelley Morris - Madam48 | 25/02/2013 | Shelley Morris - Madam48
Lindis Pass Historic Area. Lindis Pass Hotel Ruins. Image courtesy of | Shelley Morris - Madam48 | 05/04/2013 | Shelley Morris - Madam48



List Entry Information


Detailed List Entry



List Entry Status

Historic Area


Able to Visit

List Number


Date Entered

2nd February 2015

Date of Effect

3rd March 2015

City/District Council

Central Otago District


Otago Region

Extent of List Entry

This historic area consists of an area of land that contains a group of inter-related historic places. The identified historic places that contribute to the values in this historic area are the Lindis Pass School site, the Lindis Pass Hotel Ruins and associated buildings, the old Lindis Road, the Faithful’s Bridge remains, gold sluicings and tailings, Watson Thompson’s Hut, the Camp Creek camp site and workings. The area of land that encompasses these historic places includes the land described as Sec 5 SO 366867 and Sec 2 Blk XIII Lindis SD (RT 451371, NZ Gazette 2008, p.4099), part of the land described as Sec 1 SO 366867 (RT 312881), part of the land described as Crown Land Reserved from Sale (Marginal Strip), part of the land described as Legal River, and part of the land described as Legal Road,Otago Land District. (Refer to map in Appendix 1 of the List entry report for further information).

Legal description

Sec 1 SO 366867 (RT 312881), Sec 5 SO 366867, Sec 2 Blk XIII Lindis SD (RT 451371, NZ Gazette 2008, p.4099), Crown Land Reserved from Sale (Marginal Strip), Legal River, Legal Road,Otago Land District

Location Description

Nine Mile Historic Reserve is located on a river terrace on the true right bank of the Lindis River, 22 kilometres north of Tarras. Lindis Pass provides access between the MacKenzie Country and the Southern Lakes district, and on to the West Coast.

Stay up to date with Heritage this month