Macraes Flat

Macraes has New Zealand’s largest gold mine

Macraes township is 22km off the Rail Trail from Hyde. Stanley’s Hotel is located on the main street and is the hub of the community. 

Macraes flat area and village of Macraes are named after John McRae who lived in the area from about 1859 to 1864 when he was employed as a shepherd involved in boundary keeping. Gold fever arrived in 1864 in Macraes and by 1865 there are 25 businesses in the village and the population had risen to approximately 500 people. The Second World War interrupted reef mining with only sporadic mining continuing on a reduced scale in later years.

Today with oceana Gold New Zealand Ltd operating the largest gold mine in New Zealand, approximately 300,000 oz of gold a year.


Population: 40

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Stanley's Hotel

Tagged as: Hotel, Historic

Stanley’s is a unique historic hotel built in 1882. 

Licensed bar, off-licence, meals, accommodation & transport transfers.

It has a wonderful atmosphere and an ambience second to none - summer garden bar & bbq - well worth a stay.


$160 Queen Room rate  includes a light continental breakfast.  After recovering from the days cycling, our comfortable rooms are a much welcomed relief to recover from the day.

$20 transport transfers x  Hyde per booking

Kitchen open every evening 6 - 8pm - with a variety of seasonal dishes as well as our signature dishes, the Stanley's steak meal and Stanley's gourmet hamburgers and pizza's. 

Able to provide takeaway lunchbox for following day on Rail Trail

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Stanley's Hotel

Stanley's Hotel is located close to the Oceana Gold Mine. Ph: 03 465 2400

Historic Buildings

The small village has many historical buildings such as the Stanley’s Hotel Livery Stables, the Boot-Makers, the old Post Office, and the United Kingdom Hotel. You will also find the 1904 Presbyterian Church and a Catholic Church, the Macraes Moonlight School which is still running today, and the 1911 Coronation Hall. There are several other interesting historic buildings around the village, and a historic bridge between Macraes and Hyde which crosses the Taeiri River.

Historic Remains

Nearby Macraes you will find the sight of a gold mining township called Nenthorn. Today Nenthorn only has a stone chimney, building platforms, and stone ruins.


Macraes has New Zealand’s biggest man-made hole in the ground, Fraser’s Open Pit. This goldmine can be viewed by the public, and it operates every hour of every day.

Wetland Heritage Walkway and Art Park

Macraes Flat holds wetlands that make up the head waters of the North Branch of the Waikkouaiti River. These wetlands provide important feeding and breeding habitats for a range of insects and birds. Take the time to follow the track and learn about the plants, insects and birds. You will also see many of the art works. Approximately 30 minutes.

Tussock Art

Snow Tussock is the first of at least 9 artworks to be created as part of the Heritage and Art Park at Macraes.

Information Building

On theopposite side of the road from Stanley's Hotel is the display area about Macraes history including the first settlers to move to the area with the discovery of gold. There is also information about modern day mining that OceanaGold Corporation operate today witch is the biggest gold mine in new Zealand 

The Rail Trail Guide Book

The single most important resource when travelling the Central Otago Rail Trail

A beautifully crafted book with amazing photography by Peter Andrews showing Central Otago as it truly is, one of the most rugged, extreme and beautiful locations on the planet. Stunning scenery, amazing and important historical and current information, detailed maps, lists of accommodation, frequently asked questions, where to eat, how far between towns, etc. It’s all in here.

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