|Location:||Thames. At the northern end of Thames, on the corner of Moanataiari Road and State Highway 25.|
Summer daily 10-16.
Winter Sat, Sun, Hol 10-16.
Adults NZD 10, Children (0-13) NZD 4.
Groups (10+): Adults NZD , Children (3-18) NZD .
|Light:||helmets and headlamps provided, own torch allowed.|
Goldmine Experience, Main Road, SH25, PO Box 278, Thames 2801, Tel: +64-7-868-8514, Fax: +64-7-868-8514.
HPA, PO Box 278, Thames 2801, New Zealand. E-mail:
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|10-AUG-1867||prospector William Hunt finds first gold in a waterfall in the bed of the Kuranui Stream.|
Like often, gold was discovered first in the form of nuggets, gold which was freed by erosion from the surrounding rocks where it was formed. It accumulated in socalled alluvial deposits, formed by the flowing water, which transports the gold and accumulates it in pits The early miners used primitive equipment like gold pans and sluice boxes. At first the gold-bearing gravel was shoveled by hand, then hydraulic methods were developed, using high-pressure water. Elevated terrace deposits
The guided tour through Goldmine Experience takes visitors to an operational 19th century Stamper Battery. It was used to crush the gold bearing rocks from the surrunding mines. Then the group enters one of the richest goldmines of the area. Other sights are the photographic museum, a video presentation, mining relics like steam-powered machines, and a Cave Weta colony. They may be visited on self guided tours. There is also the possibility of gold panning for children.
The Thames, or Thames township, is located on the southern shores of the Hauraki Gulf. It was founded by European traders and missionaries in the 1860s. When the gold was found and the gold rush started it became a typical miners town.
The place of the first discovery was a waterfall in the bed of the Kuranui Stream. Prospector William Hunt discovered the first gold in 1867. A mine was founded, called the Shotover, which produced more than 102,353oz bullion. The whole mine field produced 2,327,619oz bullion with a value of NZD 845 million. The richest mine was the Manukau-Golden Crown-Caledonian mines, however, many other were only marginally smaller.