Pioneer footsteps retraced across Otago's gold rush landscape in 27th Cavalcade

Over 600 people hit the track as part of the 27th Cavalcade in Central Otago’s scenic backcountry.

The journey through Kiwi history is a chance for many to retrace the paths of our goldrush pioneers.

"You just can't explain how awesome it is, and what a privilege that's all I can say." said cavalcade rider, Julie Fleming.

The week-long adventure celebrates rural life and the area's rugged landscape in a tribute to the 1860's gold rush.

Trail Boss Leslie Beattie says the path of the pioneers into the mountains was impressive.

"All the mountains and the picturesque snow tops, it was magic, just magic.”

This year’s event is the biggest in 20 years with more than 600 hitting the trails, including 89-year-old Donald Morrison's on his 17th cavalcade with no plans to stop anytime soon.

The first cavalcade started in 1991 and since then has been made up of walking, riding and wagon trails, but now the historical event is expanding.

Organiser have recently added bike trails to the mix.

"There's a whole new wave of people in their seventies, maybe they can't hike, run or ride their horse anymore but they can get on these e-bikes and still take part in the cavalcade,” said organizer, Terry Davis.

And for the first time they've even got a trail for runners willing to brave 180 kilometres in 4 days.

Those who make the “slightly crazy” trip treated to ice cream treats along the way, and a warm welcome in the host town, Lake Hawea at the end. 

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    More than 600 Kiwis have walked, ran and biked the 180km pioneer pathway to Lake Hawea Source: 1 NEWS