It is worth putting aside a full day to visit the old gold mine and tunnels at Karangahake Gorge, between Paeroa and Waihi. When you park your car, you step out to a view of the Ohinemuri River.
Walk across two suspension bridges to reach the ruins of old buildings.
The rock walls offer an ever-changing colour palette.
The walk along the disused narrow gauge railway tracks is comfortable.
Before long, we were looking back towards the road, far below.
Original wire rope hung down the hillside.
New Zealand’s national emblem, the silver fern, so named because of the colour of the underside of the fern.
We all wished that the light at the end of the tunnel was always as clear as this!
Looking towards the suspension bridge further up the river. Previously we crossed the bridge and returned down the other side of the river to the carpark. However, a rock fall meant that on this trip, the pathway was closed.
So this is where we would have walked if we could have.
From time to time we encountered abandoned machinery. I wonder what this was used for.
It was hard to imagine the thriving mining establishment that had once existed along the pathways we had just walked.
It took maybe an hour and a half to walk this part of the Karangahake Gorge tracks. That included multitudinous breaks for taking photos. We returned to this view of Ohinemuri River, beside the carpark ready for lunch and a walk through a disused railway tunnel – but those will have to be the subject of future blogs.