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Published: September 22nd 2008
The remarkable thing about this building is that it was moved in 2006 at a cost of $4 million as it was on the verge of collapse after a mine collapse. Weighing 1840 tonnes and standing three storeys high, it was moved in its entirety to its present site. It was shifted on teflon-coated concrete beams to a new site 300 metres away.
Wednesday, 17th September
Waihi was the destination for today, about 40kms north of here. This pastoral town was brought back to life by the reopening of the Martha goldmine by Newmont Mining in 1987 after being closed in 1952. About 6 mine shafts were taken by a huge open cut mine. This hole will reach a depth of 250m before they stop mining, allowing it gradually fill with water to form a lake. Natural filling will take an estimated 23 years but by diverting the local rivers at their peak it should be full within 5.
The town itself was attractive, well set up and the i
site very helpful and informative. After a picnic lunch overlooking the mine (after a long walk around half of the mine as Judy wants to increase her fitness ;-( we walked down the main street, Judy starting her Christmas shopping at the Art Market!
We now drove to the foot of a trail which sounded like a stroll in the country in the pamphlet but took us through boggy paddocks containing calves, and then made it's way steeply up to another summit. Yes, you guessed it, we climbed another mountain! (or
These colourful trees abound in NZ. They must love the high rainfall.
at least a hill!) From here we overlooked the town and enjoyed a 360 degree view that included green fields, Waihi the mine tailings lakes and the damaged/reinstated mining areas.
A visit to Gilmour Lake followed on our way out, where we met 2 gents sailing their yachts. After Rags commented on them 'playing nicely' one agreed and told us they would reward themselves with a beer afterwards. They were very friendly, one telling how he once owned some land in Cottesloe in WA and about his daughter Brenda who is married to a West Australian. He advised us to go home via Waihi Beach, especially the lookout on Bowentown heads.
The views from Bowenhead were spectacular as he said they were, overlooking Matakana Island and down towards where we are staying on Omokoroa. We had to backtrack and go around the bay to get home.
Thursday, 18th September
Weather looked lousy today so we had an easy day, bit of washing, blogging and reading!
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