Of Golden Times
The name Bendigo conjures up images of goldmining in the mid to late 1860s in both Victoria, Australia and Central Otago, New Zealand. Bendigo in Central Otago is reached via a loop road some 20 km from Cromwell. Little remains of the once thriving mining settlement where the road crosses a river ford except the ruins of a lone stone cottage beside the new gold of “Central”, grapevines for the developing wine industry.
From Bendigo a narrow gravel single-track road winds up the hill to Logantown, and then Welshtown where some of the best ruins of miners’ stone cottages can be found. Here, above the river valley below, it must have been bitterly cold in winter as southerly winds, driven from the Antarctic, brought snow to these isolated villages.
From Welshtown there are views to the Pisa Range in the west and the Lammermoor Range in the northeast.