Historic Homeward Bound Stamper Battery

Homeward Bound Stamper Battery. Photo: Paul Mahoney.
Homeward Bound Stamper Battery

The four-storey-high battery. Photo: Paul Mahoney.
The four-storey-high battery

One of New Zealand’s most awesome goldmine structures.

Heritage value

A physically spectacular site, the four-storey-high stamper battery sits on the Otago hills like a giant coffee grinder. Half the gold produced in New Zealand was pounded out of quartz rock in stamper batteries like this.

It includes the most complete “ore supply” system remaining in NZ with the only extant aerial cableway structures and a massive ore hopper, demonstrating the link between the mine and the processing of the gold.

Why visit

If you are visiting Macetown to explore gold heritage this site is a must-do. You can walk in on the old track used to take in the machinery, but this requires some agility.

The walk in helps you appreciate how tough it was to run a business, work and live in such a challenging location.


DOC has recently stabilised the battery remains and constructed an iron roof to minimise weather damage. Plans are in place to restore the battery dependent on funding. Local tour operators could be involved in the future.

Getting there

It is a challenging 1-hour walk up the Rich Burn Valley from the 4WD carpark at the road’s end in Macetown. The rough track is only suitable for trampers.

Video of Homeward Bound Stamper Battery 

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