In 1862 gold was first discovered in Cromwell and it became a thriving goldmining town.
After gold became scarce, the area turned to growing stone fruit, evident in the giant stone fruit sculpture at the entrance to the town.
There are now many orchards and fruit stalls around Cromwell, as well as the many new vineyards and Central Otago
is becoming New Zealand’s fastest growing wine production area.
Where once the Clutha and Kawarau rivers merged Lake Dunstan has now been created
through the constuction of the Clyde Dam.
In the early 1990’s the old town of Cromwell was mostly submerged.
An historic precinct of Old Cromwell township still lies on the shores of Lake Dunstan and
now forms Old Cromwell township, which has become a popular tourist attraction with arts and crafts.
During the summer months a popular farmers market is run on Sundays.
The new town of Cromwell was built on higher ground and is now rapidly expanding,
becoming a popular tourist town and service centre for Queenstown and Wanaka.
Bannockburn, an old goldmining town is close to Cromwell,
where there are walkways between the gold tailings, caves and remains of goldminers dwellings.
Bannockburn now has several vineyards producing premium wines grown on the sun kissed, barren slopes.