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State Highway 6: Nelson, through mountain passes to Westport

Lyell Cemetery

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Historic graveyard of Lyell

Lyell Historic Reserve has ample parking, a Department of Conservation Campground, water and toilet facilities.  The campsite has signposts to Lyell Cemetery. Leaving from the campsite, the track passes the former Catholic Church site and enters native beech forest clinging to a steep hillside and leads on to one of the more picturesque goldfield cemeteries.  The headstones, some in lace iron fenced plots are of young people and tell the story of tragic deaths.  It is quiet and the surrounding beach trees offer a place of contemplation.  Between 30 and 40 people were buried here from 1880 to 1900.

Walking for 10 – 15 minutes the signage will indicate you are at Maori Bar, the site of the first gold strike in 1862. There is a tunnel which later miners drove through solid rock to dewater the creek bed for easier mining.  The name originates from the local Maori who provided navigation and tracking knowledge of the area to the prospectors. Cross the creek at the junction to the Old Ghost Road and continue on to the Croesus Battery. If you wish to go no further there is a lookout platform over the remains of the stamper battery.  Retrace your walk and follow the Old Dray Road back via Deep Creek to the carpark

  • Length: 320m
  • Duration: 30 minutes (return)
  • Grade: easy
Lyell Cemetery
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