Saint Bathans, New Zealand
The former gold and coal mining town of St Bathans, formerly named Dunstan Creek, lies deep in the heart of the Maniototo in New Zealand's Otago region. Mining has long ceased, and it is a tranquil holiday retreat. The preservation of many of its historic buildings makes it one of the region's more picturesque tourist venues. St Bathans is well known for its scenic man-made lake with beautiful looking clay cliffs that attract many tourists. It is currently a camping spot, and swimming is allowed in the lake.
It is 40 kilometres northwest of Ranfurly and 60 kilometres northeast of Alexandra, near Dunstan Creek, beneath the St Bathans Range and Dunstan mountains. It takes its name from Abbey St Bathans in Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders.
Prominent features include the historic Vulcan Hotel, a restored and reputedly haunted public house; and the Blue Lake, a small lake formed during gold-sluicing, which gives it a distinctive turquoise colour. The area attracts many visitors intent on gold-prospecting.
Saint Bathans mammal
In 2006, scientists reported the finding of nontherian mammal fossils in the Manuherikia Group near Saint Bathans. Previously it had been thought that bats were the only terrestrial mammals native to New Zealand. Dubbed the SB mammal (for Saint Bathans), the scientists' analysis indicates that the creature has a lineage distinct from monotremes (egg-laying mammals), eutherians (placental mammals) and metatherians (marsupials).
- Trevor H. Worthy et al. (2006-12-19). "Miocene mammal reveals a Mesozoic ghost lineage on insular New Zealand, southwest Pacific". PNAS. Retrieved 2007-08-23.