The Red Queen, Old Derby, Guiding Star, Invincible, Southern Light, etc., ... Such were the gold prospects on the Mokihinui in the latter half of the nineteenth century, that all of these were mining companies working there. At the Rough and Tumble Creek, two 18-ounce nuggets were found. It was said of the Lady Agnes claim that "after the firing of a shot there the face looked like a jeweller's window."
At the height of the gold rush at least one town — Seatonville — was located upriver. In 1867 the Mokihinui Track was cut into the gorge, and with the bridge at Rough and Tumble, a land route to Karamea was first created.
Images left to right: the Oparara Caves, old rail tunnel on the Chasm Creek Walkway, Remains of the iron bridge on the Rough and Tumble Road now lying in the Mokihinui River
And that's it. The bush has simply erased nearly every trace of the frantic human activity of 120 years ago. Nature has taken back control.
The Mokihinui River, as it reaches the Rough and Tumble Bush Lodge, is now as pristine as any river in the world. The human impact is just the stuff of legend.
It's one of our great pleasures to talk to the old-timers in Seddonville and soak up their stories of the golden days. One of them told us: "You're the pioneers now. It's like all the rest never happened."
In celebration of the past we are deeply involved as volunteers in an exciting community initiative: development of The Old Ghost Road mountainbike and tramping track, which, when developed, will link the old goldmining routes of the Mokihinui and Lyell catchments with the coalmining ghost town of Denniston.