Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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A fine sunny day brought out seventeen people to explore an old goldmining site in the Maratoto Valley of the Coromandel Ranges. We left The Bracken at 7:30am for the two hour drive to this valley north of Paeroa, where Richard McBrinn discovered gold in August 1887.

After a ten-minute road bash from the carpark, our leader Alasdair introduced the trip with the usual karakia at 9:55am. We then set out along an overgrown access track. It was tough bush bashing as we gradually climbed up the valley to an old hut for our morning tea break at soon after 11am. Some of us had a look at the old mine nearby. The area was mined by various companies from 1888 to 1927. We also found some crystalline quartz stones.
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We retraced our footsteps down the valley, a little bit easier this time, before following a track up McBrinns Stream to a delightful lunch spot below a small waterfall.
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Afterwards we went up the stream a short distance to see the remains of a 15-stamp battery and cyanide plant that had been erected by the Maratoto Gold Mining Co. in 1888.
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We returned to the quarry and the carpark, coming out at 2:20pm. On the way back we saw some native orchids on the track. Before heading home we stopped at Hikutaia on the Paeroa-Thames road for icecreams.
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COST: $20