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Looking down Skippers Canyon
If you have the right vehicle and are suitably experienced, another day trip from Queenstown is a drive through Skippers Canyon. Try gold panning, mountain bike yourself into a dusty heap or simply hunt for the perfect photo opportunity. 
A rusted sign, off the Coronet Peak access road marks the entrance to the canyon displays a map of the area and 

 
 
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While I was on my way to the Dunedin Central Library to do some research on Saturday morning I stumbled across a Shanty Town in the Octagon. Everyone was dressed in costume and indulging in some pretty convincing method acting. I met a snake oil salesman, bereaved widow whose husband died “On the ship”, a minor heading to Gabrielle’s Gulley and lots of other critters and characters.

The ‘Town Crier’ with the aid of some modern technology announced the acts and entertainment which included an Old Timers Band, Gypsy street performers and some seriously talented Irish dancers. People were even taking Clydesdale pulled wagon rides for free.

The event, called 'Layers of Gold' was celebrating Gabriel Read and his golden discovery 150 years ago. This was the start of a gold rush which saw would be miners in search of riches swarming to Dunedin from all over the globe. Port Chalmers and Dunedin City became the gateway to the goldfields and the riches acquired from the diggings paid for the development of the city.

Dunedin became the site of New Zealand’s first University, and some of the Southern Hemispheres grandest buildings designed with Victorian and Edwardian architectural flair. This year the BNZ, Greggs, Allied Press and the Dunedin Fire Brigade have also celebrated their 150th anniversaries. The ‘Layers of Gold Festival’ was the key celebration for 2011, thanks to the hours of work put in by members of the Dunedin City Council, Southern Heritage Trust, Otago Community Trust, BNZ, Port Otago, Oceania Gold Macraes, Media Works and the Otago Daily Times.

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