Below the Ida Range, tucked away in forestry surroundings, Naseby is quite the charmer. Sometimes described as the ‘jewel of the Maniototo’, the town used to be a major gold mining centre with as many as 5000 diggers working their fingers to the bone in search of riches.
Take a walking tour of the historic town and admire the perfectly preserved Victorian shops and buildings. There are two museums and two churches from the 1870s, well worth a perusal - their interiors hold a wealth of local treasures and tales.
Walk in the forest or for something a little more extreme you can run a 100 miles at The Great Naseby Water Race, an ultramarathon held annually in August. In the forest you’ll see gold rush relics and tailings as well as extensive water races built for sluicing and now used for irrigation.
Try ‘bowling on ice’ at the Maniototo Curling International Ice Rink. In winter there’s an outdoor rink used for curling, ice skating and ice hockey. If you feel the need for a bit of speed, don’t miss the downhill luge.
To relax and unwind, be sure to stop into the local 'pub' (there were over 20 back in the day so thank your luck stars you don’t have to choose from that many), and you might just catch the local curling or cricket team having a post-match yarn.
The night sky viewed from Naseby, is out of this world. Don’t forget to look up, you’ll be blown away by the pristine clarity of the starry skies. Naseby is on target to become a Night Sky Community in the near future.
Naseby is a popular Kiwi holiday spot and has endless outdoor fun on its doorstep. With hiking, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, swimming in the dam, 4WD tours, cricket, curling, rugby and you can still try your hand at gold panning – there’s a lot of fun to be had in this serene little corner of Central.