Backpacking in New Zealand: Waihi Gold Mines

Backpacking in New Zealand: Waihi Gold Mines

As a random traveller I just don’t stick to obvious routes most of the time. Here I was cruising through New Zealand’s north island for the second time. The first was in 2007 on a round the world trip. The second was in 2010, when I popped over from Australia before heading to South America. I stayed up on the north east of the North Island with my old workmate from Bite in London, Steve Jones and his wife Flavia. We got in Steve’s car and went cruising around the local area quite a bit. On this stretch of road above, and on my last day in New Zealand we stopped just past the village of Waihi, to see the gold mines…

Some tourist information on the mines, with the usual range of hostels and restaurants plus a local map of the Waihi area.

The place by the side of the road where tourists can park to go and see the mines.

The truck, the sort I used to build Lego models of when I was a kid. This one is a beast! The wheels alone much taller than me.

Yes as you can see I’m tiny compared to the wheels of this beastly machine used in mining, here in Waihi.

A touristy reconstruction of the cogs that grind the rocks etc. as part of the mining process.

We didn’t hear any dynamite blasts when we were there, but I know how loud and dangerous they can be, having been inside mines and let off dynamite in Potosi in Bolivia.

I wonder how much gold is left in there! They appear to have dug a fair amount of it up, and in neat patterns. A lot more organised than mining in Bolivia. Mind you tough work. Hard bloody work.

Another shot looking into the mines.

Relaxing by the mines.

They are big. It was a hot windy, day at Waihi Gold Mines.

Steve at Waihi Gold Mines.

The beast once again.

And the town of Waihi down below. I’d imagine most of the miners probably live there. After that type of day job you don’t want a long trip home!

The map of where you can go in the mines. We did the Pit Rim Walkway.

Some information on the mines and the Caterpillar trucks they use at Waihi.

It certainly is a gold mine here. Waihi no doubt helps the New Zealand economy with its gold digging.

On the way out we passed a gorge. It was nice to see the mammoth Waihi Gold Mines. Thanks for the lift and the memories Steve!

Information on Martha Mine and Waihi Gold Mines –

You can do a proper tour rather than just turn up and walk around –

Key Song –


A Video I Took –


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