Butchers Dam In Alexandra – Buy
Despite having driven through the Central Otago township of Alexandra many times, it’s not a place I had really spent any great length of time in, since my childhood. So, with a few days spare during the winter months, I decided to base myself at a local hotel and set about exploring the area. Over the preceding days I explored numerous walking tracks through the hills, found disused cemeteries and visited dams in relative isolation.
Butchers Dam – Buy
It was while admiring the lovely sights of Butcher’s Dam that I decided it’s a shame it’s there at all. I’m not opposed to the dam, and the area is very nice. Not only is there a dam and lake to enjoy, but it also contains a historic hut, a multitude of tracks to walk and even a conservation area above it at a place called Flat Top Hill.
However, before the dam was built between 1935 and 1937 during the great depression, the area was filled with all sorts of buildings and structures from the gold mining years of the 1860’s. Once gold was discovered there in 1862, miners from everywhere flocked to the area and a town quickly sprung up. The town included a Hotel, a store, butchers shop and market gardens that were owned by Chinese prospectors.
As I walked along the dam I imagined how wonderful it would be to see the remains of the historic town that would have stretched through the valley and what a shame it is that those remains are lost forever. Still, the lake is very nice!