St Bathans is an historic Central Otago mining town near the foot of the Hawkdun and Dunstan Ranges, 60 kilometres north of Alexandra, off SH85 (Alexandra to Ranfurly). Established in 1863 to service the area’s newly-established goldmines, in the 150 years since, St Bathans has become a special place. The town enables today's visitors to learn about the area’s mining history, see several historic buildings and admire the Central Otago landscape that it nestles in.
The St Bathans Hall, now undergoing restoration, is the oldest continually used mud brick hall in New Zealand. It was built in 1892/93 by the local publican as a public hall ‘suitable for theatrical and other entertainment.’ Later uses included a Masonic Lodge, school room, mining company office, picture theatre and dance hall. It is now classified as a Category II historic place and is one of 21 sites in the Otago Goldfields Park.
Photograph by Peter Bristow (St Bathans Post Office).