Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 22, June 1978


Until our visit, Waitekauri was to many members, only a name heard often over the years and read about but not really appreciated. Our Society's field trip took us to this area of placid farm lands, hills and bush where once stood a thriving mining town. As we stood on the rise across the stream, beneath the tramway and beside the old clay furnaces, we could visualise the busy scene of years ago when the Jubilee the Golden Cross and Maoriland gold mines flourished.

Below us to the left once stood the huge waterwheel, the largest constructed in the Southern Hemisphere. In front was the crusher plant and beyond, the business area with its hotels and boarding houses, school, doctor's residence, stores and Post Office, built in 1898. (This Post Office was moved to Paeroa in 1916 to become the Ministry of Works offices, and only recently vacated [since moved to Maritime Museum site – E].)

There, in the background, stands Jubilee Hill from which the gold bearing quartz was conveyed by aerial transport across the valley to a tramline ledge, where it was then tipped into furnaces, and roasted to make the crushing process easier and quicker.

Miss Elsie Mann was our guide and narrator. Elsie lived at Waitekauri where her parents owned a large 30 roomed boarding house. She is a member of the well known Gordon family, pioneers of the district, and really brought the area alive for us; explaining the history.

For the full story, refer Articles in Journals 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 and 16.