Events In History

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A small historic town, 31 km south-west of Hokitika. Ross was the centre of one of New Zealand’s richest alluvial goldfields in the late 19th century, with extensive underground mining and sluicing claims. The town sprang up after discoveries in 1864–65. Surface gravels were rapidly worked out, but gold was found beneath Ross flat. Companies were formed to develop underground mines. Although profitable, underground mining had ceased by 1915, defeated by drainage problems. A large opencast pit was opened in the 1990s to recover gold from previously inaccessible areas, and is now filled by a lake at the southern end of the township.

Meaning of place name
Named by James Mackay after George Arthur Emilius Ross, who became treasurer of the Canterbury Provincial Council in 1865.