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Waihi Wandering, Bay of Plenty

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Waihi WanderingBeginner

Submitted by Kirstine Collins

Info Info
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Trail Information





Bay of Plenty

Waihi Beach

Urban fringe


Undulating, small hills only

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest
Open farmlands


1:15 (Slow)
0:45 (Moderate)
0:30 (Fast)



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Exit the NE end of carpark following the trail along Gilmour Lake. At the end of the lake turn left at the junction (just before the Petanque Court). Run past the war memorial and continue down the trail to the road.

Cross the road and through the pedestrian gate and follow the trail to the junction by the bridge. Continue straight ahead where the trail will eventually merge with a gravel road and start climbing up Union Hill. When the road heads left continue straight on a dirt track until reaching the large green mine vent. Turn left and follow the road down the hill.

Not long after reaching the flat there is a gravel track to the left. Take this track and explore the old mining ruins and cyanide vats. This track will return you to the gravel road now going downhill and take the track back to the footbridge. Turn right and follow the Mill Stream trail past old water races and through a stand of mature bamboo.

When the trail reaches the wide grassy area keep right and cross the creek on a little footbridge and continue up the trail to the road. Turn left and keep to the footpath until reaching the park. Head left across on the grass and down the hill to join Mill Stream trail and follow this back the way you came, over the bridge turning right to reach the road.

At the road turn left and follow the road a couple of hundred meters to the end. Take the gravel track next to the river. At the gate go right for 20 meters then left through the next gate, now heading away from the river. Continue on this trail following the MTB signs for Black Hill (it is a shared trail).

The trail will climb slightly up the hill then go all the way around. Take the Rimu Loop on the east side then continue on the main trail. Back at the gate head left back along the gravel path. Continue straight onto the road then turn left returning back to Gilmore Lake. Just short of the carpark turn right at the sign for the Boardwalk and follow this to the carpark.

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Features of interest

The base of Union Hill was the site of the "Waihi Battery" or "Waihi Mill", constructed by the Waihi Gold Mining Company in 1888. In 1890 it started processing ore from Martha Mine. At 90 stamps in 1894 it was the largest in New Zealand at the time. Much of the foundations of the stamper buildings and engine house still exist and the cyanide tanks are still visible. At the top of Union hill is a vent for the currently operating gold mine. Mill Stream was dammed then channelled and flumed, first to the Waihi Mill, then the Cassel plant, and later back to the Waihi Mill. Sections of Mill Stream Walkway make use of this diversion channel, and the walkway crosses over, or through, all three tailings embankments. From Black Hill the tailings area of the currently operating gold mine is visible.

Make Up of Run

Easy Single Track: 95%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 3%

Sealed Road: 2%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    The trail start is in the Gilmour Lake Carpark on Gilmour Street which is accessed either from SH2 or SH25 in Wahi Town

    Large carpark with public toilets

    10 km

    9 minutes



  • Staying Safe



    Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Cellphone.

    Nil. There are a couple of streams but would need to be filtered.

    The track around Black Hill has clay sections which are slippery in the wet.
    Union Hill and Mill Stream have mine shafts and ruins, stay to the path.


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