Story: Floods

Gold-mining village, Clutha River

Painting of river and small houses in a brown landscape.

Nearly all early gold-mining settlements sprang up beside rivers. Water was needed for cooking and washing, and also for mining operations. This Central Otago settlement was built beside the Clutha River Mata-Au, which appears benign in the painting. But miners soon learnt that all rivers were liable to flood after heavy rain, and that it was prudent to live well above flood level.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: A-253-035
Watercolour by unidentified artist

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney, 'Floods - 19th-century floods', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 July 2024)

Story by Eileen McSaveney, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 1 Feb 2024