Travelling around Central Otago and looking for a walk with interesting history, great views and picturesque vineyards? Consider checking out the Bannockburn Sluicings, a former mining area close to Cromwell. The loop track is easy and there’s heaps to see along the way, as you’re about to find out.
Bannockburn Sluicings Loop Track
You can walk the loop track in either direction — you’ll clearly see the tracks and it’d be hard to get lost (actually there is one place you might go wrong; I explain towards the end of this post). We started on the left hand side and pretty much straight away the views were awesome.
The terrain can get a little slippery, so you might want to wear decent shoes. There’s a small hill to climb, and some old mining stuff to see, and after a while you’ll be at the top of the track looking out towards Cromwell and beyond.
Stewart Town Cottage
This old stone cottage is the main point of interest on this track — it dates back to the 1870s and has been restored recently. There are heaps of stone cottages in Central Otago, and it’s always cool to see one on a walk like this. If you want to see more cottages like this you’re in luck — Bendigo has heaps! There are also some other minor ruins near the cottage at Stewart Town.
READ MORE: 10 of the Best Things to Do in Cromwell
Our favourite views at the Bannockburn Sluicings would have to be above the vineyards just down from the cottage. We were there in autumn and the leaves had started to turn from green to yellow. Definitely some of the best vineyard views we’ve seen in New Zealand.
- How long does it take? It should take around 90-minutes to do the loop track.
- The Track Down the Middle: The first time we visited Bannockburn Sluicings we started the walk on the right hand side. We went up to the cottage and then walked down the middle part, completely missing the other side. The middle part is nice to walk down too but most people will probably want to complete the loop. If you started on the left and came down the middle track you’d miss the cottage.
- Can you visit the Vineyards? Yes — Gia loves Mt Difficultly, which is very close by. There’s a restaurant there with nice views.
- Where is it? Bannockburn Sluicings is in Bannockburn, a tiny town around 5-minutes from Cromwell.
Are you planning a trip to Central Otago? Check out our South Island Travel Guide!