St. Bathans in the Mist St. Bathans used to be a gold and coal mining town in the Maniototo region of Otago, New Zealand. Today it is a holiday spot, that gets quite a few visitors, who come to view the preserved buildings and to see Blue Lake, a man-made lake adjacent to the town. The clay cliffs around the lake would normally look quite spectacular, though in these shots, they look somewhat muted. Many people take a detour from the Otago Central Rail Trail, which is a very popular cycling trail through the Strath Taieri - Maniototo region of Otago. This was my first visit to St. Bathans. We left in brilliant sunshine. However, driving up the Rte 85 (the Pig Route), fog and hoare frost was encountered.
These next shots are taken on the short road from St. Bathans towards Blue Lake. I think this is looking east, the photos then pointing north and finally west.
The next photos are taken of the restored Vulcan Hotel’s interior. There are tales that the hotel is haunted. However nothing, apart from the mist, was in the nature of the metaphysical.
At the top end of the bar area, the owner of the hotel sorts out the snooker table, while his wife looks on.
The luncheon folks had left, as Warwick my fellow explorer, takes in the various historic features of the bar. The bar serves as a museum of the area, with photos, sports shields and mementos of bygone days.
One side of the dining area. If one looks closely at the wall on the left, in the bottom frame, there is a newspaper cutting giving the story of the Vulcan Hotel. Looking closer in the bottom left, there’s a photo of what the Blue Lake normally looks like - a turquoise colour.
The Lady of the Hotel kindly let me photograph this piece on a wall in the dining room. They usually have post cards, which are on sale, along with other photographs of St. Bathans and Blue Lake.
Diagonally across the road from the hotel, is this building, which has the appearance of what would have been a shop of some kind.
This combination wood-stone house took my fancy. This is the back of the residence.
The photos taken of St. Bathans started by looking from the Vulcan Hotel up the road one arrives on, called Loop Road and they continue, going down the road. St. Bathans is now a very small town. Gone are the days where the population was sufficient for all the necessities: post office, banks, shops and a school.
After lunch at the hotel, there was a lifting of the mist, with blue sky appearing at times.
Interesting combination of elements, with corrugated iron, stone fireplace and leadlight windows. One would think it’d be dark inside.
The next photos are the remains of what used to be the St. Bathans School.
Looking across the clay cliffs above the Blue Lake. The fog has lifted enough to be able to take in a bit more of the colours on the lake and face.
With mist still in evidence, we left St. Bathans in the knowledge that we’ll be back again, when clear blue skies are evident. As we drove back to the coast, we drove past the Idaburn Dam, where I took these last two shots.
If you are interested in further details, here are a number of website links: Wikipedia St. Bathans: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Bathans,_New_Zealand If you click on the coordinates in the right-hand corner, in the next window click on Google Maps and you’ll see exactly where St. Bathans is. There are four photos of the area included. Wikipedia Blue Lake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Lake,_Otago The Maniototo Region: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maniototo Central Otago Rail Trail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Otago_Rail_Trail As per: right click to “End Show”.