An important township during the gold rush of the 1860s, much of the town has been preserved from this time and has something of the air of a working museum. At its peak, the population of the town was close to 4,000, but by the time administrative boundaries were changed in the 1980s, it had become New Zealand's smallest borough, with a population of only around 100.
Today, Naseby is best known as a quiet holiday spot. The nearest town is Ranfurly, at a distance of 15 kilometres.
Winters in Naseby are very harsh; Naseby is one of New Zealand's principal curling venues. The town also has the Southern Hemisphere's only ice luge track (400m long).