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Introduction

Waiuta is one of the West Coast’s best known ghost towns and there are a number of walking tracks to help you explore the area.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

1 hr - 2 hr 30 min Easy: Walking track

Dog access

No dogs

About this track

Description

All of these tracks are within 30min drive from Reefton and offer a taste of Reefton's fascinating history.

Prohibition Mine and Ball Mill

Time: 1 hr

From the old Waiuta town site, "Pro Road" winds up to the top of the country's deepest mineshaft (879 metres) and foundations of the ball mill where quartz was ground to extract gold. There are fine views from a 580 metre altitude. Part of the return journey can be made via the miners' short-cut track, which leaves the road just below the mine.

Old chimneys at Waiuta - Photo Lizzy Farthing.
Old chimneys at Waiuta

Waiuta Town Walk

Time: 1 hr 30 min, return
Distance: 2 km 

The township of Waiuta is signposted from the Reefton highway (SH 7), 21 km south of Reefton. Follow the sealed and shingle road a further 16 km to Waiuta. The road is suitable for cars and buses. Once you get to the site walk from the main information site along Top Road. This walk passes the Blackwater mine, settlement and recreation areas. Historic photos depicting the town are interpreted along the walk.

Snowy Battery Track

Time: 2 hr 30 min, return
Distance: 5.1 km

From the old Waiuta town site a well formed downhill track leads you to the remains of a massive gold extraction plant, including large cyanide tanks and machinery foundations. The return journey can be either: returning by the track in, following the water race from the battery to powerhouse site then up a gentle graded track to Waiuta, or from the powerhouse crossing the river to Hukarere Road for a prearranged pick up. 

Getting there

Waiuta is signposted from the Reefton highway (SH7), 21 km south of Reefton. Follow the sealed and shingle road a further 16 km to Waiuta.

History and culture

There are a plethora of historic sites and relics around Reefton, mostly relating to quartz gold mining. In fact many of the walking tracks were originally formed as accessways to mines.

Contacts

Reefton Visitor Centre i-SITE Information Centre
Phone:      +64 3 732 8391
Email:   reefton@i-site.org
Full office details
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