Over the past few days I have had the delight of discovering a part of Central Otago which, although I lived near, had never had opportunity to visit.
The Poolburn Dam is a popular fishing spot over the hill from Omakau, north of Alexandra. Little huts are dotted around, although not enough to make it seem crowded.
The dam is so big, and has many little ‘arms’ whereby a person could almost fish to their hearts content without seeing or hearing another person. Other areas do have more little huts, and being a long weekend, these huts were inhabited – it was so nice to see families enjoying time together.
I don’t think this boat has been used on the water recently!
After visiting this idyllic place high in the hills (which I am told can be also perishing cold and windy on many days of the year), I was transported by 4WD to a place called ‘Serpentine Scenic Reserve’. This was about an hour from the dam. This road is not for the faint-hearted and is definitely classed correctly as suitable only for 4WD vehicles.
The drive went through an area so vast, so huge – endless snow tussocks interspersed with huge rocks that look like they have grown up from the earth, or alternatively, dropped down from outer space!
Central Otago is known for its barren, rocky landscape. It is what makes it so special and unique.
The Serpentine area was once a thriving gold mining area, and here and there are places where the tailings are obvious. Heading down the hill a bit further we wound down a particularly rocky and jutted track to the Serpentine Church.
This church was built for the gold miners, and as the plaque inside on the wall states, the minister came occasionally – but was often late.
On these days he would find his parishioners at the local watering hole (no sign of that in this area now). Of course he wasn’t too happy about this.
Serpentine Church was not used as a church for very long apparently.
I was most interested in the paraphernalia inside, but also the system used to ensure the roof stayed on in the harsh alpine winds!
The sunset was beautiful and gave a lovely glow to the church at night time.