A Haunting Look at the Gold-mining Past - St Bathans
St Bathans is an historical gold mining town located at the foot of the Hawkdun and Dunstan Ranges in Central Otago, New Zealand.
Established in 1863, St Bathans owes its origins to the mining era. Many of the St Bathans buildings were mud brick and have long since disappeared. Those that have survived are unique and are icons of a time past.
Today St Bathans is a small town with only two surviving operating facilities - the Post Office and the (haunted) pub. The local hotel in St Bathans, 'The Vulcan', dates back to 1882 and the Post Office back to 1909.
Little has changed around the town and it is easy to imagine the place in its hey-day. Other older buildings include the Anglican Church (1882) and the stone schoolhouse.
Historical St Bathans is managed by the Department of Conservation.
The Blue Lake in St Bathans (named for its distinctive blue colour caused by the minerals in the water) was man-made by miners digging away at a 120 metre hill until all that was left was a 68 metre deep pit. When the mining stopped, the hole filled with water forming the lake.
Today the lake is a popular and unique setting for swimming and jet skiing.
There is a two-kilometre walking track around Blue Lake.