Ross is an historic 19th century gold rush settlement. It’s a small township these days but there are still plenty of gold mining relics to be discovered on the tracks and trails throughout the Historic Goldfields area.
The trails all start at the Ross Goldfields Information & Heritage Centre (in Aylmer Street); you can also hire a gold pan to try your hand at the public gold-fossicking area on Jones Creek where gold was first discovered in 1865. New Zealand’s largest gold nugget (nicknamed the Hon. Roddy) was uncovered here in 1909.
Family friendly, tunnels, gold mining relics, replica miner’s hut
A great option for kids, this short easy track includes plenty of old-time discoveries. Climb up to an old water race and through regenerating native forest, passing old gold workings including tunnels, dam sites, a replica miner's hut and the historic Ross Cemetery. Starts at the Ross Goldfields Information and Heritage Centre.
Old burial grounds dating back to gold mining era
One section of the Ross Water Race Walkway, the track is a short but steep zig-zag up hill and into the Ross Historic Cemetery. The interesting collection of headstones provides a harsh commentary on life in those early mining days.
Old miners’ trail, rimu forest to tussock tops, 360-deg views
Follow an old miners’ pack track from tall rimu forest onto the tussock-covered summit of Mount Greenland. The rough, unmaintained and uphill trail leads to amazing 360-degree views (in clear conditions). This full-day hike is recommended for fit trampers and hikers.