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Macetown is a historic gold mining settlement in the Arrow Gorge. Far up in the Mountain.
The road access can be found in Arrowtown by the car park close to the Chines village.
This settlement can be reached by food, bicycle, and Motocross bike or 4wd vehicle. The road crosses 22 times the Arrow River, and creeks on a distance of 15km, over the last few years the road has not been maintenanced on some sections the road is very rough with deep drive ways. The most river crossings are by the first 3 km’s in the drive ways of the 4 wd vehicle the water could be 1/2m deep and the underground is very loose, be aware if you cross the river with your bike and check the air intake first before driving through the water, I drove beside the drive way and the water was much less deep, the only difficulty was there are many big rocks submerged the waterline which can not be seen from the river margin. Drove in slow and increase the speed by driving out of the water, to stand is much safer then driving sited, in a standing position the bike can much better controlled and balanced if you slip, and just in case you come of the bike by the river crossing kill the engine with the kill switch, it is much easier to maintenance the bike if the engine was turned off.
On the way back to Arrowtown the sun stood behind us the river was like a mirror there was nothing to see what was hidden under the waterline the only way to find out was to get of the bike and walk through the river o find a good line to pass . At some parts close to the end of the river side the water was around 21 inch deep, despite we have had no rain for around 3 weeks. Before going up the mountain I advice to check the river flow and the current, if the rain drop in the river rises rapidity and a crossing could be impossible what was possible just ½ h before.
History of Macetown is going back to 1862 when William Fox discovered gold for the first time in the Arrow River. In a very short of time the population of the little township grow up to 1500 miners at the junction of 12 mile creek. By 1865 most of the gold was excavated by the miners and the population shrunk rapidity.
At the earluy1900 the town was deserted, only a few original building are restored, one of them is the Bake house, this is the first building visible of the historic Macetown, Department of conversation has faithfully restored those buildings over the last few years.
Macetown had a small Chinese community, which was based by the end of the main street in the area known Chinatown. The Chinese miners kept up the chines tradition and celebrated all annual events such as Chines New Year, moon light festival.
My verdict of this trip is highly recommended for Motorbikes up to 650 ccm, with a huge fun factor, I have not been as exhausted for a long time than after this trip. At the end after 44 river crossings I just dropped my bike to the side,. Switched off my engine, the back wheel still in the water and lifted my arms and shouted I made it safe and dry, it was such a great day; once more I had experienced in the most amazing part of the world in the rural untouched back yard of Southland
To look at pictures of this awesome trip please visit:
Thanks to @brainflex and @stefan-innocente I’ve just added the GPS track for Macetown Road