Story: Floods

Gold-mining village, Clutha River

Gold-mining village, Clutha River

The early gold-mining settlements were almost always built beside a river. Water was needed for cooking and washing, but also for the mining itself. This Central Otago settlement was built beside the Clutha River, which appears benign. 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.

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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 11 December 2023)

Story by Eileen McSaveney, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 1 Aug 2017