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Waiuta Gold Town

Home  »  South Island Walks  »  Greymouth  »  Waiuta Gold Town – Walk detail

The Blackwater shaft 563Mt deep was sunk in 1906

Quick Facts

        • Location: South Island NZ
        • Distance: 5 km
        • Time needed: 2 Hours
        • Difficulty: Easy
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: Round Trip
        • Elevation: 550m
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: Yes
        • Dogs: Yes
        • Mobile Coverage: Yes
        • Last Updated: November, 2019
  • Track Highlights

    There are a number of original old miners hut still standing that you can have a look at. Plus take a walk down to the snowy Battery and the historic power station

  • Track Quality

    Good walking around the whole historic Waiuta mining town

  • Hazards


  • Transport


  • Water

    Good water and Toilets.

  • Driving Instructions


  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    Greymouth is 68 Km to the West

  • Area & Track History

    The Blackwater shaft was 563Mt deep and was sunk in 1906.
    By 1920 the Waiuta town had a population of 500, there was a Hospital, many shops and a town hall.
    The Waiuta mine was the second richest mine in NZ. Three quarters of a million Ounces of gold was mined.
    Most of the miners were from Cornwall,Germany and Italy, the married men settled down in Waiuta with there family’s and built a houses, while the younger men worked hard till there pockets were full of money then moved out of the valley to see the world.
    After WW11 the miners did not return, so Waiuta struggled on till 1951 when the mine had a major cave in cutting off important ventilation and pumping systems on top of this the Union was demanding large backdated wage claim’s so the mine closed down

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of Waiuta Gold Town

    Map of walk

Points of interest along the walk

In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. Each point has photos along with a description about each one.

Point 1: The Blackwater shaft

The 13 Km drive up to the Blackwater Shaft is a little narrow but well worth the drive. I parked my 11 Mt truck on the old bowling green for three day or you can park in front of the day shelter were the toilets and water is situated
You can spend the whole day just walking around the village reading the information sign post stuck in front of the old bakers, bank, butcher, barber, dressmaker, shop Ect Ect.
As for the walks you will need two more days. To get to the start of the snowy river track read the map by the day shelter.

Point 2: The Snowy River Battery

At the start of the track you will walk past the return track, there is a sign pointing to the battery. From there just follow the track down to the snowy river battery. you will also pass a turn off on the left. This leads to No 2 Level were horses brought out the ore from the Backwater Mine and on it’s way to the snowy river battery via the incline tramway

Point 3: The Waiuta Power House

When we left the snowy Battery we just follow the old water race for 40 minutes all the way down river to the Waiuta Power House, this is the most interesting section of the walk.
We keep stoping to have a look into the water race tunnels Ect. One of the tunnels was to long for use to see through to the other end. In all the Waiuta Power House track was very enjoyable walk along the river bank plus we were lucky to be shaded from hot sun, 19 degrees, by the tall black beech trees. 30 minutes into the walk you turn off to the left. Turning to the right would take us back to Waiuta and the truck. There was not a lot left of the old Snowy power House but it was enough to get an idea of how it all worked, the concrete foundation came in handy for a good seat and coffee table.
From the Power station we had to double back 10 minutes to the waiuta turn off. from there on, it is all up hill. About half way along the track we could look back down the valley to the Snowy River. Within 35 minutes we were back at the truck for a hot shower and a hot cup of freshly made plunger coffee.

All walks in Greymouth…

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Contact info

Waiuta, Ikamatua 7895, New Zealand

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