Gold was discovered at Waiuta in 1905 and within a few years a new town, home to several hundred people, had been created. Unlike many other Coast gold towns, Waiuta did not appear and disappear over night but continued to function until 1951, when one of the two mine shafts collapsed. Repair was considered uneconomic and so it was the end of the mine and the end of the town.
Today, DOC and the Friends of Waiuta look after the site as a historic reserve. They hope to preserve something of the Coastís recent history for younger generations to appreciate. Although only a few buildings remain, the site is home to plenty of ruins, relics and memories.
What’s in a name?
Despite the name, Waiuta has few connections with M‰ori. In fact, some say it was the local postmaster at the time who helped to choose the name, using the M‰ori words for water (wai) and reward (utu). Utu changing to uta over time. Perhaps this was a reference to the initial gold discovery in Greek Creek.
Special features to look out for
– Old bottles, boots and other relics.
– Flecks of gold in the quartz rocks!
– Old chimneys, buildings, and strong rooms.
– The abandoned sports ground.