The historic Mt Aurum Homestead at Skippers has been burnt to the ground after a large blaze tore through the building north of Queenstown overnight.
Two buildings and 1200sqm of vegetation were destroyed in the fire, which was discovered by campers around 2am.
Around 20 firefighters from Queenstown and Arrowtown reached the scene of the fire at 3am.
"There was campers up there that more or less got stuck in and got it controlled," Queenstown senior station officer Dave Christie told the New Zealand Herald.
The homestead, also known as the school house, was one of two timber buildings in Skippers Canyon dating back to the gold rush after it was built around 1863.
The historic school nearby was left unscathed following the blaze.
Police are appealing for a man and woman who camped at the Mt Aurum Homestead around the time of the incident to come forward.
The fire is being investigated as suspicious.