My Favourite Walk: Walk­ing through the Karanga­hake Gorge mines

Walking New Zealand - - Contents - Words by To­nia Perry Pho­tos by Ed­win Perry

Heavy rain fell from the sky all night and this morn­ing when we woke up it was just the same. Rain, rain, more rain - so we went to the Gold Mine hands-on Mu­seum in Waihi.

This was very in­ter­est­ing and when we came out two hours later the sun was shin­ing. Yay!

Raced back to the mo­tel for lunch and set off for the Karanga­hake Gorge walks. Th­ese must be the best walks we have been on in New Zealand.

We clam­bered through old gold min­ing tun­nels which were drip­ping with wa­ter from all the rain. You needed a torch to see your way!

Th­ese mines were dug by hand into solid rock and in an area that is densely cov­ered in na­tive bush. Hard to de­scribe - with a lot of the old mine work- ings still vis­i­ble.

We fin­ished off the day by walk­ing through a one kilo­me­tre long old rail tun­nel cut through the Karanga­hake Gorge rock that runs un­der the road. Had to do the re­turn trip the same way as the track was closed for the round trip due to all the rain.

We in­tend to re­turn for a longer ex- plo­ration when the weather is good. A very rugged part of New Zealand is vis­i­ble when walk­ing through th­ese mines.

Above: The track goes un­der the cliff. Be­low left: An en­trance to one of the mines. Be­low right: The mine en­trance can be seen in the hill­side.

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