There are remote clusters of cottage foundations and sluicings all over Central Otago, and dedicated ruin hounds can poke around the detritus in places such as the Nevis Valley and Bendigo (ask locally), but the most extensive workings are found at BANNOCKBURN, a scattered hamlet 9km southwest of Cromwell that’s now more famous for its wineries.

Since the early 1990s, the warm, north-facing hillsides around the sluicings have been increasingly planted with grape vines. The wines – primarily Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris – have quickly established themselves as some of New Zealand’s best. Almost a dozen wineries are open for tasting (call in advance if you’re visiting in winter), all listed on the free Central Otago Wine Map.

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