This spectacular walk passes through the relics of the Talisman and Crown mining operations.
From the Karangahake Reserve car park begin by crossing both the suspension bridge over the Ohinemuri River, and then the Lower Waitawheta Gorge bridge. Go up the stairs and through the abandoned buildings and machinery of the Talisman battery.
Then follow the rail track along the gorge and into the old gold mining tunnels. The tunnel has four openings (windows) which look down on the spectacular river gorge far below. The track emerges from the cliff and descends a staircase before crossing the river on a suspension bridge and returning on the opposite side of the gorge along the Crown Tramway Track to the car park.
You can take a recommended side-trip to the remains of the underground Woodstock Pumphouse. After the windows section and the crossing over the Waitawheta River, walk upstream for a short distance (through another tunnel) to where a set of wooden stairs on the right hand side mark the entrance to the pumphouse tunnel.
Remains of the beam engine and other machinery can be seen inside, aswell as the rafters supporting th ceiling. Glow worms are also visible. A good torch is essential for viewing this unique piece of mining heritage.
The Karangahake Gorge is on SH2 between Waihi and Paeroa, at the southern limits of the Coromandel Peninsula.
Know before you go
A torch is recommended for the gold mining tunnels, and is essential for viewing the underground pumphouse side trip.