The Ghosts of Waiuta


It may now just be a ghost town but Waiuta oozes charm and intrigue. A historic gold mining town high in the mountains in the Grey Valley sitting upon a plateau with views to die for.

bush and views waiuta

Our latest visit was Christmas Day.  We packed a picnic lunch and headed up to relax in the sunshine.

historic coal relics waiuta

We had thoughts of doing a nice long hike but with glorious sunshine and hot temperatures sitting and reading our books took priority.  We did however take a walk around the township.

waiuta roads

An easy thing to do – just follow the road.  There are no vehicles up here so we can meander along the road at leisure.  It isn’t because vehicles aren’t allowed up here it is just that no-one is here today. We’ve practically got the whole place to ourselves.

bottom road waiuta

Waiuta has a lovely feel about it – almost a spiritual feel.  I know that sounds weird but everyone we bring up here says the same thing.  You immediately feel at peace, any stress just falls away.

historic homestead waiuta

There are a sprinkling of old buildings still here from the gold mining boom of the mid 1900’s.  A couple of them are used as holiday homes – or baches as we like to call them in NZ.  They still belong to the family that lived here originally, passed on for the next generation to enjoy.

exploring waiuta

Others have fallen into disrepair.  It is such a shame seeing these beauties slowly rot away.  With NZ being such a young country we need to keep and perserve any history we have so the stories can be told.

waiuta homestead

views to waiuta homestead

road to waiuta homestead

One of my favourite books is called “Memoirs of Waiuta”.  Written by a local historian Les Wright through interviews with the old timers that lived and grew up in Waiuta.  It is a fascinating insight into the way life used to be and makes us look so soft and whimmy when you look at the hardships our forebearers had to endure.  I say endure – they didn’t see it as a hardship – in fact many say in the book that they’d rather have grown up in the era that they did than in today’s world.  I’m with them there!

historic police house waiuta

waiuta historic police house and old post office

Everyday was an adventure – no TV, no internet, just outside exploring and making the most of the surroundings.  Waiuta was a prosperus town too with swimming pool, rugby field, hockey field, cricket pitch and even a bowling green – plenty of fun to be had outside.

bush views and old homestead waiuta

We love Waiuta and we don’t get up here often enough so it has been great to have a day off, take the journey and relax amongst the memories of a forgotten time.  An awesome afternoon at Waiuta – an awesome Christmas afternoon at Waiuta.  We’ll be back.

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  They enjoy getting out and about with their two dogs Nico and Ziggy and exploring the many wonders that help make up this region – West Coast of the Southern Alps.

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About coastingnz

Jan and Stephen live on the Punakaiki coastline, north of Greymouth on the West Coast, NZ and run Breakers Boutique Accommodation. They both enjoy the outdoors and are passionate about things to see and do on the West Coast and would like to share their experiences with you.
This entry was posted in dogs, Mountain biking New Zealand, Nature, NZ flora and fauna, NZ history, outdoors, photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Ghosts of Waiuta

  1. Michael Nees says:

    Great to see all those historic sites you discover on the Westcoast (and around other regions). Even New Zealand is such a young country “lots” has happened in the last 150 year or so!

    • coastingnz says:

      So true Michael. I love all the little gold mining, coal mining and saw milling towns/relics – what our country was founded on for the most part so really interesting to see how our fore-fathers lived before us.

  2. bulldog says:

    You certainly captured the essence of this town…

  3. joshi daniel says:

    so so beautiful pictures 🙂
    happy new year 🙂

  4. Pam says:

    Loved this particular blog Jan. I know what you mean about the spirituality of a place. I sometime think old ghosts remain in places like this because they have found peace there.The photos are absolutely stunning and you’re quite right about preserving these gorgeous old buildings. These are the real holiday homes!

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