Treasure hunt for old bottles
The hills of Wellington are filled with treasure if you only know where to look.
For the past eight months Elliot Moore has scoured the bush-covered areas surrounding Porirua and Wellington in the quest to find not gold but old bottles.
The hunt for old fashioned treasure was sparked by a much more modern find, the 11-year-old Plimmerton School pupil said.
‘‘I saw a bottle hunting video on the internet and I went up the track to see if I could hunt any.
‘‘I actually started finding them straight away.’’
While Elliot won’t give away any of the bottle-rich locations it’s best to look in Wellington’s steep, bush-clad areas.
‘‘You have to go into the forest and you’ll see them glinting in there and have to dig them up out of the ground.’’
So far Elliot has found 200 bottles buried around the Wellington region - the oldest made in 1907.
‘‘I just like finding old relics and items...then I can look them up and research them when I get home.’’
Clad in a special ‘‘bottle hunting outfit’’ and armed with ‘‘bottle hunting equipment’’ Elliot is accompanied on expeditions by mum Alice who had caught the bug herself.
‘‘I just find it unbelievable that the bottle will be lying right there in the bush.
‘‘It’s a great thing to do together, I’m obsessed myself.’’
Elliot’s bottles date mainly from the 1940s and 1950s, president of the Wellington Antique getting quite Bottle and Collectables Club Tony Cross said.
Most bottles went into rubbish tips back then which made them difficult to get hold of these days and local soft drink bottles weren’t often found.
‘‘It is unusual to get bottles of that vintage’’
While most bottles were not valuable they were a slice of history that gave insight into the habits of the people who bought them, he said.
The occasional find could bring a windfall to the person who discovered it with one Wellingtonembossed bottle selling for $10,000 and another recent sale making $2,800 for its finder.
Cross said Elliot’s hobby was a great way to enjoy some time outside.
‘‘It is unusual for an eleven year-old to spend their holidays digging for treasures’’
Elliot and mum Alice with some of the bottles they’ve found.