Gold! And The Bay of Plenty

From the north, sliding down the east coast to The Bay of Plenty – Karangarahake (kah-rah-na-hakee) to Whakatane (fah·kah·taa·nae).

Striking Gold at Karangahake Gorge

At the southern end of the Coromandel Peninsula is a curvy canyon with walkways, tunnels and artifacts from one of NZ’s most lucrative gold strikes. LOVED THE WALKS!

Victoria Battery – 1897

NZ’s largest and most advanced facility of its type – 200 stampers crushed gold-bearing quartz.

Windows Walkway (Take a Torch)

Low ceilings, pitch-black trail, windows blasted through the tunnels – keep walking to cross the river and back through the glorious canyon.

Massive Open Pit

Waihi’s Martha Mine – For 70 years one of the most important gold and silver mines in the world – 11,932,000 tons of ore yielded 5.6 million ounces of gold, 38.4 million ounces of silver.

Seven vertical shafts, the deepest at 600 meters (1/3 mile), 15 different levels, and a tunnel network of 175 kilometers (108 miles). The ore was mined with picks and shovels, transported by rail to Victoria Battery for crushing.

Recent history – dump trucks carried 90-100 tons of rock, each load yielding 2 tablespoons of gold and 20 tablespoons of silver.

Stunning Orokawa Walk- Waihi Beach

A bit south, at Waihi (WAH-hee) Beach, the coastal walk to Orokawa (OR-o-ka-wa) Bay and beyond is fantastic – through bush, white sandy beaches. My heart stopped for the giant overhanging pohutukawa trees.

Katikati – Mural Town

Located between Waihi and Tauranga, colorful murals and sculptures. Populated by Māori long before Europeans arrived, Katikati means nibble nibble.

Face of Culture – 2013 NZ Mural and Art Festival community project.

Katikati’s Te Puna Quarry Park

Tauranga “A Place to Rest”

Tauranga,(TAW·ruhng·uh), discovered in the 13th century by Māori, is NZ’s fastest growing city. Population 150,000, a harbor/port town with world-class beaches at Mount Maunganui and Papamoa.

Climb the Mount!

Mount Maunganui (maa-na-NOO-ee) is an extinct lava dome dubbed “The Mount”. Mauao/Maunganui means “caught by dawn”.

The Mount’s walking paths MUST BE WALKED! The 360 degree view at the top is the payoff. Bonus – Hang Gliders!

The amble on the lower trail is divine, lined with pohutukawa trees whose branches wind out of control.

Down the beach, The Mount is visible for miles – a long, unobstructed walk from Papamoa.

Day Trips:

Te Puke (More Gold!)

Famous for the cultivation of kiwifruit. OMG! Golden Kiwifruit! Selectively exported – if you see them…buy them!

McLaren Falls

Only minutes from Tauranga, the lakeland park has extensive walkways and one of the best botanical collections of trees on North Island.

Next Post: From Whakatane we will head to the East Cape / Gisborne Region

Links to Previous North Island Posts (starting at the top) Cape Reinga, Northland, Coromandel Peninsula

10 thoughts on “Gold! And The Bay of Plenty

  1. I’m so grateful that you are sharing these adventures! So beautiful as always!

  2. More beautiful scenery in this post, but I love the diversity of the trees and the human-made art – murals and sculptures. Lovely!

  3. OK, now you’re just bragging! If you’re ever able to extract yourself from paradise I think your next destination should be North Korea. Me, jealous? Yes!

  4. Love this post.

  5. Another glorious post – pictures and text made me long to hike in your footprints! xo

  6. Oh my!! This looks like so much fun!!! I want to go here someday!! Especially the walk way with the tunnels! Looks so exciting and adventurous! Kind of like Indiana Jones!!

    1. Adding to my never ending bucket list!!

  7. The tunnels and walkway pictures are amazing! No wonder gold is so expensive, it is extremely labor intensive regarding the tonnage for a tablespoon of gold! We have golden kiwi the fruit here. Once you have the “gold” you never want to go back to plain ole green!! Another beautiful post! x

  8. Spectacular pictures and narrative, as always. Thank you! Are tourists allowed to mine for gold?

    1. We met a guy who owned a helicopter touring company….but who was paying the bills because they owned a gold mine. (Barely meeting the bills, I might add.) About tourists? Probably need more time than your visa would allow!

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