02.12.2011 - 02.12.2011
After a leisurely breakfast with some German tourists we packed up and headed south, stopping in the seaside town of Wangamata, passing through Hikuai and Wharekawa on the way (the Maori language is a bit a bit repetitive). We were reminded of home in Massachusetts - the local supermarket drops its "r's" as well!
Back on the road we again drove south, through Waiharakeku and Whiritoa to the Gold Boom town of Waihi. Many of the roads we have traveled started out as pack tracks and mining trails. This is the Martha Mine, which was once again producing gold.
The original miners' tunnels were opened up, creating this open Martha Mine which started in 1987. Once it is closed it will be filled with fresh water (taking 5 years to fill) and become a recreational lake.
The only difference between men and boys is the size of their toys!!
Mine own personal Stargate.
Gold mining in Waihi spans three centuries and the present day town embraces its' past. There are many statues depicting the lives of the miners and their families.
Also in this area is the Karangahake Gorge, packed with history and beauty, much of it accessible through a variety of walks. Gold was mined here starting in 1875.
No more than 10 people allowed to cross the suspension bridge at a time.
Part of the old mining rail line, high up the side of the mountain.
The Windows Walk - more like climb! - brought us up the mountain to window-like holes made by the miners.