Friday, 25 April 2014


Bannockburn is a small historic gold mining town located just 5kms from Cromwell in Central Otago. The area was mined extensively for gold in the 1860s and the old gold diggings, sluices, tunnels, races and dams have left the area devoid of natural vegetation and covered in rocks and dry sandy soil. Its a warm and dry micro-climate with some of the highest temperatures & lowest rainfall in the area. These conditions make Bannockburn the home of many vineyards, olive groves and stonefruit orchards. Wine in this region is mainly pinor noir which is suited to the dry climate and soils.

The Bannockburn Bridge and entrance sign welcome you to this historic town. The bridge was built following the construction of the Clyde Dam and the subsequent creation of Lake Dunstan (where we are staying at Lowburn Harbour). The signs pillars are made from the stone of the original suspension bridge that once crossed the Kawarau River.

The day we visited Bannockburn it was very still and calm, the trees, especially the poplars, & vines were starting to turn colour and the reflections on the aqua blue waters of the Inlet amazing. The air was filled with the smell of thyme, the dusty ground all around covered with clumps of dry & seemingly dead thyme bushes which released an intense smell of thyme when I stood on or brushed against them.

Bannockburn reminded me very much of Provence, especially the dry dusty landscape, a little piece of France in New Zealand.

And I'm sorry but once again I've struggled to cut the number of photos so sit back & enjoy this photo-fest of autumn in Central Otago- remember to click on the photos to see them in detail.

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