The Nevis Valley was first used as a trail route by Maori people. Early European settlers farmed the valley and in 1862 a Maori farmhand found some gold in the river. Years later, pioneering miners decided to investigate reports of this find and they soon struck it rich. Efforts to keep the find a secret failed – and so began the Nevis Valley gold rush.
Saved by the remoteness of this valley, the remains of numerous stone buildings from the gold mining days offer a fascinating insight into the perseverance and ingenuity of early pioneers. The relics include everything from the cemetery and settlement buildings through to a woolshed and the first ski hut.