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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Skippers Canyon New Zealand

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Skippers Canyon is a historic and scenic gorge, some 22 kilometres in length that is located several kilometres north of Queenstown. Today accessed from Queenstown via the same road that leads to Coronet Peak skifield, Skippers Canyon houses the Shotover River, one of New Zealand's richest gold bearing rivers which was named by William Gilbert Rees. Rees, his wife Francis and brother-in-law Nicholas Von Tunzelmann were the first European settlers in and near where Queenstown is now located.

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Skippers Canyon

Once a busy goldming area, Skippers Canyon was accessed by Skippers Road, which is today one of New Zealand's better known scenic roads. One of only two roads in the country where rental car insurance is not honoured if driven on, Skippers Road is mostly one-way, narrow and steep with sheer drops of several hundred metres. Apart from its goldmining history, Skippers Canyon was also the site where electricity was first generated at a place called Bullendale, a small former goldmining settlement some 4 hours walk from the fartherest end of Skippers Road.

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