Trip to Shantytown to try our luck at panning for gold.
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Shantytown is a replica of 1880s town. It was opened as a tourist attraction in 1971, and the area was the site of a real gold rush from around the 1860s. The town is made up of around 30 historic buildings some of which were constructed in the early 70s and a few that have been rescued and restored. I was particulary fond of the church, originally from No Town in the Grey Valley and built in 1865.(See photos, inside & out). It is even possible to get married in this sweet little church, which is interdenominational.
Anyhows I didn't drag Simon to Shantytown to get married, but because I wanted to try my luck at panning for gold. OK so I think this activity might be aimed at the younger age group, and you are guaranteed a find.
It was interesting to check out Chinatown as the Chinese were also amongst the crowds seeking a fortune in the gold-rush at the time. We also had fun checking out the various artifacts at the hospital. The electro-coagulation machine looked plain scary (see photo) - put it this way there were two holes in the front one labelled electrode and the other labelled patient, (plus a lightbulb). We think this machine may have been used for cauterization, but aren't 100% sure.....Interestingly there was also a waterbath (see photo), I couldn't find a date on it, but it looked remarkably modern.
Anyhows apart from the panning for gold, we also got to have a short ride on a lovely stream train called Gertie. The best bit, was that Gertie was built in Bristol, England in 1877. (and was Gurt Lush(Bristonian for very good). Hence we found the name hilarious but no-one else had a clue what was so funny.
Shantytown is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. However if your interested in a bit of history, or just fancy some cheap old time fun then it's not a bad place to go. I liked the way that some of the buildings are still used today.
FFI you can check out the official website: www.shantytown.co.nz
As a reward for being dragged to Shantytown, Simon choose a tour around Monteith's Brewing Company.
I will try and find the website for Monteith's for you, but those in England can buy some Monteith's beer in Waitrose.