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.

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