UNION HILL INGROUND GOLD ORE ROASTING KILNS-WAIHI 2002
lol your truly doing a sneaky trip onto Union Hill as sussing out the KILNS, one had a strong torch here, for behind me in the gloomy tunnels are the amazing remains of the historic, gold kilns.
Hello and welcome to the mining town WAIHI ,MARTHA MINE GOLDMINING TOWN, NEW ZEALAND. Here I will present some more old time photos and information on this most unique part of NEW ZEALAND'S GOLD MINING HISTORY, this is a fascinating area of NEW ZEALAND to explore if you are interested in NEW ZEALAND HISTORY,WAIHI, KARANGAHAKE, WAIKINO, where our hardy pioneer mining families lived their lives , the men folk carving out the heart of the mountains, in very adverse conditions to today's mining hi-tech, ( now it's everything out!) when one actually considers the amount of manpower and the sheer grit and guts of the old time miners, who worked the miles & miles of tunnels, I have seen the pickaxe marks in the Union Hill and Karangahake tunnels, one can only be in total awe of these hardy miners of old, and the incredible depths they went to, in those airless rabbit warrens of darkness, you can only have great admiration for these thousands of hardworking pioneer folk.There are excellent old mining photos at the very interesting WAIHI MUSEUM& WAIKINO RAILWAY STATION, and over the KARANGAHAKE RIVER, you may explore the amazing old mining ruins of famous VICTORIA BATTERY ..Waihi is at the present in the grip of the multi billion dollar gold company NEWMONT, who are remining this very lucrative area, now gold prices have soared and mineral reports are positive for the shareholders....we in Waihi are more than a bit apprehensive as to the final out come of this latest bid for the CURSE OF MIDAS....GOLD! in WAIHI, enjoy this trip down memory lane, and please sign guest book.......
UPDATE 2007 ..I have since shifted from Waihi quite disillusioned with the disregard for old mining history and ambience of the town but after living there for nigh on 40yrs I have very fond memories of the OLD HISTORIC WAIHI MINING TOWN....I also have deleted most of this WAIHI SITE, but hey I've a lot of old Historic WAIHI photos I will leave online for those that are interested..
Looking up SEDDON STREET, WAIHI MARTHA MINE GOLD TOWN, from the Commercial hotel end of Seddon Street, far right is ,BARRON CHEMIST, Still there today, note gravel roads, and quaint old time facades of the shops.......
Now isn't this a beauty! THE ROB ROY HOTEL, with some sort of Church Parade, ROSEMONT ROAD TO THE RIGHT. Left side corner, a BAKERY, which today is 'CLARKES CHEMIST' The ROB ROY HOTEL hasn't changed much in appearance, I salute the shopkeepers who endeavor to keep the oldtime the atmosphere, THE TOURISTS LOVE IT! One tourist said WAIHI reminded him of an old JOHN WAYNE MOVIE....
THE ROB ROY TODAY, I took this across from DILMORES FURNISHING, Seddon Street WAIHI, still has character of an oldtime appeal, we lose that atmosphere and we lose the uniqueness of Waihi, we will just be another obscure little town, so we have to fight to keep our HISTORIC BUILDINGS, such as they are, not much left, COUNCILS IN THE PAST HAVE HAD NOT MUCH FORSIGHT TO THE FUTURE. We MUST preserve our HISTORICAL MINING ICONS!!.
SHAMEFUL! This really saddened me, large remaining part of WAIHIS DICK SEDDON MEMORIAL,
I photographed this forlorn remnant of the Memorial sitting in the WAIHI COUNCIL YARDS, this was almost buried in the local dump! so much for retaining WAIHI'S MINING HISTORY, now its seems to have disappeared for all time...so much for local history its a continuing saga of 'DON'T CARE!"......SHAME!
Opposite the old now ex Waihi Leader Office, another original building that has been maintained , I took a photo of this buildings unique history is on a plaque on the front of the building.Next door is Dillmores Furniture Shop, this facade is also quite original looking..over the crossing we have a quaint Drycleaners Premises, with its oldtime steam press....
UPDATE 2007, very sad to relate this very nostalgic quaint piece of history has now joined the ranks of Waihis rapidly disappearing old history
UNION HILL DYNAMITE VAULT 2002Shirley Booth and Annette Bowater ( ex editor of Leader WAIHI) examining the fascinating GOLD VAULT, with its amazingly thick steel reinforced construction, and a massive steel door, its known as the 'Gold Vault' , THIS COULD BE PART OF A FABULOUS GUIDED TOUR AROUND THE OLD GOLD MINE WORKINGS AND MINING RELICS OF WAIHI A REAL MONEY SPINNER....FOR WAIHI! a little railway transversing the old mining sites around Union Hill, no danger as you would not leave the train... think about guys!!!
UNION HILL DYNAMITE VAULT built in 1899.GUIDED TOURS would be very popular around these old mining sites, as is done in KARANGAHAKE GORGE
H G BLOMFIELD 2007
copyright HG BLOMFIELD 2002
Mysterious, hauntingly beautiful, green tinted dappled light filtering through tall latticed punga fronds, THE UNION HILLMINE-STAMPER BATTERY RUINS. covered & embraced in ferns and hidden from mans greedy view, rusted, and twisted relics of a bygone age, melting into Natures green loving grasp..
a girlfriend and myself spent many an exciting hr exploring these beautiful mystic looking ruins on Union Hill, at one foray we came upon these mining rigs looking so totally alien in the cool silent surrounding bush...this magical place has probably changed out of sight now, Natures facade ripped away in Mans lust for the Midas metal...
this photo I took years ago of the Mine Lake will bring back many a nostalgic memory of the beautiful historic WAIHI MINE LAKE, the family picnics held there , just sitting and feeling the magic of MARTHA HILL, now only so must relocated rubble) or feeding the many many ducks that made this lovely bush sanctuary their home, their numbers swelling dramatically during the duck-shooting seasons, also the impressive old mine managers house that was on the left side of Junction Road... all this once lovely area, Grey St , Newman, Slevin, Brickfield, Junction Rd., etc., etc., have forever, as has a around Union Hill, vanished into the gaping greedy maw of mining ..... lovely old historic Waihi that was.....before mans greed and so called progress changed it forever, one would be quite amazed at the many old historic buildings that have managed to elude the HISTORIC TRUST etc., and been demolished, our beautiful WAIHI postoffice for one, would have made a brilliant Information Centre and kept the building in Waihi but oh no down she went, as has just very recently the old art deco cinema theatre. Thank goodness some one has rescued the old Church, that has thankfully been restored from almost very likely destruction hmm now back in its former glory..hurrah for that !
copyright H.G. Blomfield
PHOTOGRAGHS TAKEN BY ME ARE COPYRIGHT TO ME, IF YOU WISH TO USE ANY OF MY PERSONAL PHOTOS PLEASE CONTACT ME..