Mill Stream Walkway


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The bird call heard on this page: Korimako (Bellbird)

Historical Summary See below

Mill Stream Map

Walkway is in green. You may click on the items for photographs. See Overview Map for location.

For a full interpretation of the heritage features to be found at Mill Stream, please view the Heritage section.

Historical Summary Interpretation by E Lens

On an early map of Waihi, Eastern Stream was known as Mill Stream.

The stream was dammed near the present Bowling Club, then channelled and flumed to the Waihi Battery (or Waihi Mill) on Union Hill. The remaining water (if any) and surface runoff further down the valley, was caught in diversion channels, to keep the water out of three large impoundments which the Waihi Gold Mining Co. had established to save their tailings. The middle part of our walkway makes use of one of these diversion channels, and the walkway between the bridges crosses over the lower tailings embankment. Where the stream runs now is largely hand cut (our lower bridge gives an impressive view into a deep cutting), sometime since the closure of the Waihi Mill in 1912-13. The "Cabbage Tree Patch", upstream from the upper bridge, is deeply underlain by old tailings (fine quartz sand).

Between 1899 and 1902, ore was transported from the Union new No.1 shaft via tramway to the Silverton Battery (which was then renamed the Union Battery) on the Ohinemuri River (by joining with the Silverton tramway at a point now in the Heritage Walkway and Gilmour Reserve). Our walkway follows this formation between Clarke St and the lower bridge.

The "Totara Tree Flat", in front of the old Waihi Mill mine manager's house is reminiscent of an old extended garden, hosting Plane, Oak and Acacia trees, bamboo, a grape vine and hydrangeas. The view across the stream from this area provides a glimpse of the concrete air agitation tanks used by the Waihi Mill from 1909 to 1913.

In the cliff face by the sharp bend in the stream, close to Morgan Park, is a distinct arch-shaped excavation, currently interpreted to be the remains of an explosives magazine for the adjacent Speak's Quarry. Mill Stream runs across the bed of the quarry, and the sheer rock walls indicate the extent of excavation.

The remains of three power pylons can be seen beside our walkway. These pylons were erected 1912-13 to bring electricity from the WGMCo. Hora Hora hydro-electric plant on the Waikato River to the mine on Martha Hill. There were 469 of these towers, carrying three solid copper wires of 10mm thick. They went out of service about 1970.

For a full interpretation of the heritage features to be found at Mill Stream, please view the Heritage section.

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