Central Otago is steeped in history with much of the early settlment based on the mining of gold. There are numerous fascinating historic sites within easy reach of Big Sky Cottage and there are books, pamphlets and maps in the cottage with information about the goldfields and walks in the surrounding area.

Matakanui and Drybread

Turn right out of the gate of Big Sky Cottage onto Matakanui Lauder Road. The tarred road turns to gravel within 100 metres but is easily drivable in 2WD. Follow the signs to the historic mining villages of Matakanui and Drybread where you will find historic buildings from the mining era and the fascinating cemetary at Drybread.

Golden Progress Mine Oturehua, Ida Valley

(open November to August) - a short drive from the cottage through the beautiful Ida Valley. Still standing above the mine shaft you will find the only surviving poppet mine shaft head in Otago. This shaft head was used to winch the gold ore up the 61m deep mine shaft. Make sure you stop at Gilchrist's store in Oturehua on the way.

Golden Progress Mine 7878 600x400