Coastal North Otago
Dunback & Macraes
Originally the Dunback and Macraes area was settled in the 1850s by farmers and later by miners following the discovery of gold in the 1860s.
Dunback is only a short 10 minute drive from Palmerston on State Highway 85. In town you'll spot a handful of beautiful historic buildings over 100 years old, notably, the coronation hall and the Dunback Hotel - which still operates today.
Meandering through Dunback, the Shag River used to be quite the divide until a swing bridge was erected in the early 1900s to provide better access to town for those living on the other side of the river. The bridge has since been refurbished and can be accessed via Murphy Street. It is a great link to quiet rural roads for those interested in walking or cycling and it provides access right around to the Dunback Domain.
Just another 20 minutes up the hill is Macraes - frequently referred to as Macraes Flat.
Macraes Flat is a beautifully rugged high-country area with expanses of rolling, golden tussock-land peppered with weathered schist outcrops.
Visitors go to Macraes to view the heavy machinery and expansive open-cast pit of the working gold mine, Macraes Mine. Remnants of early mining history can be found at the Golden Point Historic Reserve just a few minutes drive from the viewing area.
Travellers may also wish to visit the Art Park and Wetlands Heritage Walkway which can be accessed from the township.
The heart and long-standing hub of Macraes township has been Stanley's Hotel - a charming bar, restaurant and accommodation option full of character for those wishing to spend more time.
Macraes Mine accounts for around 50% of the country’s gold production.