In the late 1850's, William Dansey extensively
explored the rugged mountains inland from Oamaru, including a pass
through the hills from the Waitaki Valley to Ranfurly and Central
Otago. Today, Dansey's Pass is best known for the Dansey's Pass
Holiday Park, a peaceful rural camping ground nestled beside the
Maerewhenua River. This is the ideal spot for long hot sunny days by
the river and peaceful walks among slate-limestone hills and native
The mountains and rivers around Dansey's Pass have had
a long association with gold mining. Alluvial gold can still be found in local creeks and rivers.
The same rivers offer world class fly fishing for
trout, and salmon can be caught in the nearby Waitaki River and hydro
lakes. The Waitaki River is one of New Zealand's largest braided river
systems and is our very best jet-boating river.
Nearby Oamaru is famous for its unique Victorian
buildings built from the creamy white granular limestone that underlies
much of the area. These buildings reflect the wealth of a prosperous
colonial New Zealand town.