We hadn’t planned to stop as we made our way to Papamoa late on Saturday afternoon but the historic gold mining town of Waihi was just too interesting not to stop at.
In particular the Cornish Pumphouse sitting proud on the hill draws you in.
Even our youngest, who normally will only get out of the car if there is a seriously good park involved, was jumping out of the car when we pulled up.
There is something so intriguing and almost romantic about the derelict walls on the hill that remain unmarred by graffiti.
A bit of googling found that The Cornish Pumphouse was a relic of the original mine in Waihi (which incidentally was the richest goldmine in NZ from the late 1800’s to the mid 1900’s).
It is 112 years old, having been built in 1904, and used to house steam engines and pumping machinery. These were stripped out int he 1930’s however and has remained empty since.
What was particularly interesting was that the Pumphouse was moved 300 meters in 2006 in an impressive display of engineering prowess after it became apparent that if she stayed in her original location she would soon fall apart. As a newbie to Waihi it looks like it has always been there on that hill looking out to the mine but I love that this 112 year old building has such a history.
Waihi, you were amazing and next time I am definitely staying longer but with 24 hours only in the Bay of Plenty it’s time to move on….