If you would like to make further enquiries about Waiuta, please feel free to make contact:
Friends of Waiuta
For secretarial enquiries:
Adult: $15 per night
please contact the Reefton Visitor Centre for detail
Today it is a town full of memories and history. Within its forest-surrounded setting many mining relics remain from the days when it was a bustling miners town, including the original Police Station, Rimu cottage and barbers shop buildings.
Waiuta is a perfect spot for nature lovers, historians and photographers alike.
Jimmy Martin, by appointment for groups, brings the historic gold mining town of Waiuta alive. His one-person re-enactment of the discovery of New Zealand's second richest gold mine allows you to travel back in time and absorb the colourful history and activity of the place.
For those who just want to explore without Jimmy's company, Waiuta offers a range of walks around the town's streets and nearby mine and battery sites. Within one and a half hours you can explore the site of the gold discovery, imagine the children swimming in the 25 yard pool, hear the sounds of activity at the Blackwater mine area and pass by the old police station where sometimes the "honorary mayor" of Waiuta Tim White resides.
If you have more time to spare, you can either drive or climb up the hill to the Prohibition Mine site and marvel at the views of the Paparoa Ranges and Southern Alps in the distance. On a clear day you can see Mt Cook. You can stand over what was New Zealand's deepest mineshaft at 879 metres and ponder that the last 150 metres of the shaft was actually below sea level.
For those who want a round trip walk and have at least two and a half hours to spare, go down the well formed track to the Snowy Battery where the quartz was once crushed to free the gold, then return via the hydro-electric powerhouse site before climbing back up to the town.
Waiuta is also the starting point of the Reefton Goldfields Journey.
Access to Waiuta is via SH 7, 38 km south of Reefton, turning off the highway just before Ikamatua.
The narrow rural road leading to the town takes you past the old Blackwater School (pictured), carefully cared for by local residents. Sit at one of the desks, dip a quill pen in the inkwell and you're ready for a lesson of another time.
If you wish to enjoy more of Waiuta, you can stay overnight in the fully equipped Waiuta Lodge.
Comfortably sleeping 30 people, the Lodge is fully equipped, with stove, fridge, tables & chairs and two large / 1 small bunk rooms. A toilet and shower block adjoin the lodge. People need to bring linen, sleeping requirements and food. You can book Waiuta Lodge at the Reefton Visitor Centre. Rates are:
- Adult: $15 per night
- Child (aged 5 - 17 years): $7.50
- Discounted rates are available for school / education groups and Friends of Waiuta members - please contact the Reefton Visitor Centre for details.
Friends of Waiuta
Friends of Waiuta is an incorporated society formed in 1985 to promote the town and mines of Waiuta, as well as the wider Inangahua quartz field that they were a part of. They work with the Department of Conservation who manage the historic town and gold mines at Waiuta.
The focus of the group is to:
- Promote the area as a tourist destination
- Promote the history of the area
- Promote the ecology of the area
- Promote the conservation aspects of the society