Beautiful ferny forest glade that was once an earth dam holding water to be used in the extensive gold mining activity here. Pollands Dam is high on a bush clad hill at Gabriels Gully near Lawrence. Christmas Day, South Otago. New Zealand.

From the information board:

“An incredible network of water races was constructed, tapping all the major rivers within a 50 kilometre radius above Gabriel’s Gully. Snaking around the hill contours, through tunnels and crossing gullies on wooden stilts, these races maintained an almost even water level and eventually emptied their waters into a series of earth dams like this one (Pollands Dam). The stored water was then distributed via further races, reservoirs and pipes before being channeled over the cliffs of the Blue Spur onto the gold workings.”

From a Department of Conservation website:

“Gabriel Read’s discovery of gold in an Otago valley in 1861 changed the course of New Zealand history. Gabriels Gully was the site of the first major gold find in Otago which led to the gold rushes of the early 1860s which transformed the province, making it the wealthiest in New Zealand.”

The view as I looked down the steep drop-off from the walking track, while standing on the track and about to descend to the floor of the old dam. The boardwalk is where we then walked in, after our descent.

My view is across the floor of the old dam, taken while I was still standing on the boardwalk. Nigel is moving on, to the other side of the dam. The old dam floor is now a wonderful fernery!

This time my view is from the other side of the dam and Nigel has returned to the boardwalk.

And this is the steep face at the back of the dam where the dam was dug out of the hillside. The face is now covered in ferns!

Text and photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2022)

4 thoughts on “Renewal

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    1. It is lovely with the ferns! I suspect the Dept of Conservation comes in periodically to clear out weeds – there’s every weed imaginable in the immediate surrounds and right here there’s sycamore sprouting up – which would totally take over given half a chance.

      Liked by 1 person

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