The Wandering Tops

The Wandering Tops

20 March, 2017

Karangahake Gorge

On our drive from Auckland to Tauranga when Glenne & Col picked us up, we stopped off at Karangahake Gorge and they advised us of a number of good walks around the gorge, so we dedicated a day to check it out.  Once again the weather was warm and sunny which added to a top day.

Some old gear wheels stand on the hill overlooking the remains of the cyanide tank footings.
First stop was the Victoria Battery Site which the Waihi Gold Mining Company erected in 1897 to process ore from the Waihi Martha Mine. The site was considered the largest and most advanced facility of its type in the country with 200 stampers being used to crush the gold-bearing quartz. The operation continued until 1952 when the Victoria Battery was gradually demolished. Was interesting walking around the area seeing some of the concrete footings where the large processing equipment was installed giving you an idea of the complexities of the plant. A particular interesting structure was the footings for the cyanide tanks - a complex design of archways and walkways.




The large bolts and concrete plinths used to secure the processing plant.

Hels is lost in amongst the cyanide tank footings.


The rail was used to transport around the processing site.


From the Victoria Battery we drove to Karangahake Gorge where we chose to do the Windows Walk which started at the junction of the Ohinemuri River and Waitawheta River.  The walk takes you high above the Waitawheta River, through railway tunnels with various windows which overlook the river.  After decending a staircase, we crossed the walkbridge and followed the track adjacent to the river back to where the car was parked. Amazing how they managed to build the railway plus various Batteries back in early 1900's in inaccessible steep terrain.


Karangahake Gorge carpark overlooks the swing bridge at the start of the walks.

A number of swinging bridges are used to cross the river on the various walks.

A water wheel high up on the side of the hill. 

One of the windows which looks down over the Ohinemuri River and the walking track.

You do need to carry a tourch to see as you walk through the tunnels.

The well constructed staircase used to get down to the river from the tunnels

I think Hels was hoping to find some gold left in the ore truck!

Another swinging bridge.

The walkway cut into the side of the mountain, made for easy access today.

After our walk we drove into Katikati where we enjoyed lunch and a walk down the main street discovering the many murals on various buildings.

Lunch at Katikati

One of the many wall murals that Katikati is known for.
Was easy to find a friend - street statue Katikai


Had to take a photo of the old bikes, a Royal Enfield and Triumph Tiger
Beach Hop, a Rock and Roll festival at Whangamata which attracted lots of classic cars and bikes.

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