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Published: April 29th 2008
Entrance to Naseby
Sheryll and I have been coming back to Naseby for holidays for over 10 years now. The first time was with all of the 3 children and we were booked into a Miners Cabin (which is basically 4 walls and a roof around a double bed) the guys were meant to be sleeping in a tent beside the Cabin. When we arrived it had been raining for about 3 hours and there was about 3 inches of water flowing through the site that the kids were meant to be camping on. Suffice to say that 4 of us top and tailed in a double bed and I think it was Kyra who slept on the floor in the only remaining available space.
That hasn't stopped us coming back though, for me I think it is the fact that my Gt Gt Grandfather Charles Francombe Roberts lived here for many years during the Otago Gold Rush Days from 1863 onwards
Naseby is situated on the Hogburn stream and was formerly known as Hogburn Gully,in May 1863 gold was discovered here. Within weeks there was a population of 2,000 miners. 18 stores, 14 hotels and 2 butchers shop and a
Atheneum formerly the Union Church
baker all sprang up to serve the miners needs, by December of that same year the population was said to have reached 4,000
Today Naseby's population has declined somewhat to about 100 permanent residents, however in Summer the Crib's fill up (thats South Island for Bach and for readers outside New Zealand thats Kiwi for holiday house) and the population swells to a couple of thousand with holiday makers.
The sum total of stores amounts to a small dairy/shop selling food, two pubs and a Cafe. Nearby Ranfurly is where most locals head to stock up on stores.
It's probably this that makes Naseby such a unique place.
The sign as you enter the village says "Two Thousand Feet Above Worry Level"
its a great town motto and so very true.
I would describe Naseby as the Gold Town that didn't grow up, unlike other nearby towns such as Cromwell, Alexandra and Ranfurly. It has survived fore many years now and only now is becoming a popular destination with visitors to the area from the nearby "Otago Rail Trail". Naseby has been the capital of the sport of "Curling" practiced by those hardy South Islanders on frozen
ponds and lakes in winter. Naseby now has an indoor rink which is open all year round
Naseby has put itself on the International stage with this outstanding facility that has already attracted competition from overseas. I hope the old outdoor rink still manages to survive though. Another new venture is an outdoor all season luge course that is currently still under construction, I think they were hoping to be open by this winter.
Many of the early miners cabins are still evident in the township and there is still some great examples of original residences. Today Naseby is a forestry town and the nearby Naseby forest is a mecca for walkers and mountain bikers. Several dams with the forest were built as water supplies for fire fighting purposes, but today are also jusing for recreation. Just above Larchview motor camp on Swimming Dam Road is one of these, I have yet to convince Sheryll that you really can swim in it !!!
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