Is there gold in the hills?
When we think of goldrushes in New Zealand it’s not Manawatu that springs to mind. But many parts of New Zealand experienced a brief flash of hope as something with a glimmer of gold was found in a local river. Manawatu was no exception and the site which brought optimistic prospectors to the area was in the Pohangina valley.
In 1886 hopes were high enough for a Ashhurst hotelier, Thomas Lowes, to advertise his establishment, The Gorge Hotel, as follows:
Prospectors visiting the gold reefs should call us first
Tourists and the general public will find every convenience
Pack horses available
Reduced charges to reach the gold fields.
If the gold remained elusive in the Ruahine Range, it is a fact that other minerals have been found in greater quantities in those hills, notably copper. Trampers today still enjoy a trip to Coppermine Creek.