Ophir, Central Otago, New Zealand

Ophir Bridge, Central OtagoOphir Bridge, Central Otago

When in Central Otago make a point of visiting Ophir.
The quaint and historic gold town of Ophir is located 25km from Alexandra and 2km from Omakau,
 and is well worth the small detour.
Originally the township was known as Blacks, after the Black brothers on whose farm gold was discovered in 1863.
The name was changed to Ophir in 1875, when Superintendent James Macandrew, declared the settlement to be Ophir,
 honouring the biblical land where the Queen of Sheba obtained gold for King Solomon.
An apt name for a goldmining town!
  At its height Ophir’s population was well over a 1000 people.

Ophir bridgeOphir Bridge

The Daniel O’Connell suspension bridge at Ophir is well worth a visit.
It is one of the only few remaining suspension bridges left in Central Otago.
It was opened in 1880 and was the main means of crossing the Manuhirikia River at the time.

Ophir historic building

The town of Ophir has many historic buildings,
 many of which are protected by the Historic Places Trust.

  The original goldminers cottages made of schist and adobe,
 the Courthouse (built 1884), the policeman’s house (built 1870’s),
the cottage hospital, the bank, the Union Church and the Post Office
 all add to the charm of this idyllic little place.

Ophir Post Office

The historic post office has operated continuously on this site since 1863.  The current Post Office was built in 1886 and in 1976
it was purchased by the Historic Places Trust and restored.
 It still has most of its original features, including interior furnishings
 and has not changed much since its original construction.
The Post Office still operates today and is open 3 hours every day
 during the week.

Ophir Old cottageOphir


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