Karangahake Windows Walk

Alert/Important notice

Section of underground tunnels closed

A section of the underground tunnels on the Windows Walk and Underground Pumphouse in the Karangahake Gorge are closed following an inspection.

  • The Windows Walk is now partially open with access available from the western entrance off the Crown Tramway Track. The tunnel is accessible as far as the 4th window.
  • Work is required on the remaining section of the Windows Walk Tunnels to ensure public safety and remedial work is planned for early next year.
  • The tunnels on the underground pumphouse track require further investigation to ensure public safety and will not be re-opened before Christmas.

The Talisman Battery Loop Walk leading to the Windows is still open and offers great history, scenery, and views. The Crown Tramway Track is open giving views of the Windows portals from the gorge below.

Track category

Short walk


1 hour round trip


2.5 km


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.

Visitors pose for a photo in Karangahake Gorge.
Visitors pose for a photo in one of the
Karangahake windows

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.

Alternative route:

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.

Getting there

The Karangahake Gorge is on State Highway 2 between Waihi and Paeroa, at the southern limits of the Coromandel Peninsula.


Child/family friendly activities Child/family friendly activities
Historic sites Historic sites

Self-guide mobile app

A self-guide mobile app is available for the Windows Walk, featuring historic images and stories from Karangahake’s past. Download the My Parx app for free using your mobile device from the My Parx website. Then search the My Parx app for ‘Karangahake’ to take the tour.

Child/family friendly activities

The mining tunnels and building ruins on the Windows Walk are great for kids to explore, with historic information boards providing educational background information and pictures of the past. Young children need to be supervised as there are steep areas and fast-flowing rivers.

The lower Crown Tramway Track is suitable for prams/strollers; but steps and staircases prevent access to the mining tunnels.

Historic sites

Significant remains of the gold mining extraction and processing industries at Karangahake are now on show as spectacular walks in easy reach of the carpark.

About the area

The Karangahake Gorge region combines gold mining history and natural beauty, much of it accessible through a variety of walks.

Plan and prepare

A torch is recommended for the gold mining tunnels, and is essential for viewing the underground pumphouse side trip.

Related links


Find out more


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Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

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Tauranga Office
Phone:      +64 7 578 7677
Email:   taurangainfo@doc.govt.nz
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