Butlers Incline in the Waiorongomai Valley. © Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

Find gold-mining heritage in the Waikato

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Explore the remnants of gold-mining history on the outskirts of Waikato’s Te Aroha. 

In the Waiorongomai Valley, you’ll find New Zealand’s oldest bush tramway, built between 1882-1883, with its original rail still in place, alongside mining machinery, the remains of gold mines and historic miners’ houses.

Although prospector Hone Werahiko found gold in the Waiorongomai Valley in 1881, the mines here were never very successful due to the unexpectedly hard rock. 

Today, you can choose from one of several relic-filled walking tracks that range from short bush loops suitable for children to advanced overnight tramping tracks.

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