Making sense of my photography hobby in retirement

The Road to Naseby

Overnight the temperature had dropped to 4 degrees Centigrade at Kyeburn Diggings.  After rain for most of the day before, the morning sun made a welcome reappearance.

Danseys Pass Inn, Kyeburn Diggings, Central Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

Just 29 km from Naseby, the settlement of Kyeburn Diggings is where the Danseys Pass Inn is situated. The hotel was built in 1863 and for a time was the centre of all activities in the district. Apparently a stonemason called Happy Bill built the stone building in schist in 1863 and took his payment in beer, a pint for every schist boulder shaped and laid on the thick walls! Remnants of some of the other stone buildings of the settlement are across the road from the inn.

Kyburn Diggings, Central Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

Kyburn Diggings, Central Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

“The gold fields in the Kyeburn area known as the Kyeburn Diggings were well underway before the main discovery of gold at nearby Naseby. The Upper Kyeburn gold fields once boasted hotels, stores, a butcher, a baker and in the 1860’s a school opened.  Sadly the only reminder of the Upper Kyeburn settlement is that of the Upper Kyeburn Cemetery and the scars of sluicing and dredging that went on the area.  Like many of the early gold mining towns photos are all that remain of what was once a bustling area.” (Visit Central Otago)

It is always sobering to visit old cemeteries, especially those of settler times or in old battlefields.  People died very young in those days, and sometimes whole families died within relatively short spaces of time when compared with today’s life expectations. I also find the inscriptions on some of the old gravestones interesting, and sometimes “quaint”.

At the gate of the cemetery at Upper Kyeburn is a tariff board showing service charges for burial which were current in the gold mining era in the late nineteenth century. In those days £1 represented a lot of money.

Kyburn Diggings Cemetary, Central Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

Kyburn Diggings Cemetary, Central Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

From the cemetery the road continues to Naseby through farmland and the sluiced banks of the nearby river, with views to the Kakanui Mountains to the right. Rain clouds still hung over the hills, but as the day progressed and we moved further into the Maniatoto Basin it got warmer as the weather improved.

Road to Naseby, Central Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

Kakanui Mountains, Central Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

Finally, with just a few kilometres to go the sign pointing to Naseby lead us to an unexpected surprise! More on that in the next post.

Naseby This Way, Central Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

Naseby This Way

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 159 other followers