Gold Miner The New Zealand Goldrush Journal

Volume 2 (2018)

THE TAPU GOLDFIELD 1867 - 1868 Part IV

The Goldfield South of Tapu Creek

by Kae Lewis

The Ridges Of The South Tapu Goldfield

The South Tapu Goldfield lies south of the Township of Tapu Creek (Hastings) and rises steeply above it. It comprises of three distinct parallel ridges with most of the claims situated at the top of the third ridge back from the coast. A bullock track was contructed from Hastings all the way up the second of these ridges and up to the Panama Ridge claim.

Tapu South goldfield 1868
Figure 1: A Survey Plan of the South Tapu Gold Diggings 1867-1868 showing the South Tapu Goldfields, together with the three access ridges rising abover the Tapu township (Hastings).
Surveyed by A. & H Fisher Bros, Surveyors & Sharebrokers of Tapu Creek.
Source: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Public Library NZ Map 69.
Click to enlarge the photo.
Tapu township 1956
Figure 2: An aerial photo of Tapu Township taken in 1956. On the right hand side of the photo are the three parallel ridges rising directly above the town. These ridges formed the access to the South Tapu Gold Diggings which lay to the right, slightly out of the photo.
Source: Whites Aviation Ltd. Photographs. Ref: WA-40846-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington.
Click to enlarge the photo.

In Figure 1 above, going up the south (right hand side) bank of the Tapu creek, there are three ridges. The first one starts at the back of the township of Hastings, the second ridge starts a little way up the creek but still within the streets of Hastings. This one is labelled 'bullock road from Panama Route.' Panama Route was an important claim situated right at the top of the South Tapu circular ridge. By following this ridge to the right, it is possible to trace the bullock track right to the Panama Route. The third ridge forms part of the Middle Tapu Creek Goldfield and these claims have already been covered in Part III of this series. In the aerial photo taken in 1956, as seen in Figure 2, these three parallel ridges can be clearly seen rising up behind the township.

South Tapu Claims
Figure 3: A Survey Plan of the South Tapu Gold Diggings dated 1867-1868 showing the claims situated on the ridges well to the south of Tapu Creek and rising above the Tapu Creek (Hastings) township.
Surveyed by A. & H Fisher Bros, Surveyors & Sharebrokers of Tapu Creek. Redrawn by Evan Lewis (see the book "Goldrush to the Thames 1867-1868" by Kae Lewis.)
Source: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Public Library NZ Map 69.
Click to enlarge the photo.
ridges above Hastings
Figure 4: An aerial photo of Tapu Township taken in 1956. On the right hand side of the creek are the three parallel ridges rising directly above the town. These ridges formed the access to the South Tapu Gold Diggings which lay to the right, slightly out of the photo.
Source: Whites Aviation Ltd Collection: Ref: WA-49398.
Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington.
Click to enlarge the photo.
South Tapu Goldfield
Figure 5: A high resolution aerial view of the
lower south section of Tapu Creek Goldfield taken in 1944. This shows the location of the circular ridge of the south bank of the Tapu Creek, (near the botton of the photo) in
relationship to the Tapu township on the coast.
Source: Retrolens A Historical Imagery Resource SN292
Click to enlarge the photo.

The Old Bullock Track from the Township to the Panama Route Claim

In Figure 4 above, you can clearly see the scars of the old bullock track going up the second ridge back from the town. This 'Bullock Road' is shown in the 1868 map in Figure 1, just above the label: 'D. J. O'KEEFE & others'. In Figure 5, it is possible to trace this second ridge all the way up to the peak of the circular ridge where the Panama Route and many other claims were located.

The Daily Southern Cross 16 September 1868:'A fine bullock road is now completed from Panama Route to the township, giving easy access to a number of large claims. Great praise is due to Mr Kedy sic (the enterprising manager of the Panama) for his exertions in the matter. Nearly all the neighbouring claims worked on the road, the only exception being the Die-hards. The townsfolk were represented, with the exception of one publican, whose sale of nobblers will decrease as a consequence.'

The New Zealand Herald 19 September 1868: 'A splendid road has just been cut from the township to the Panama Route claim, a distance of about one mile and a half, the width is from twenty to thirty feet. All of the vegetation was thrown clear of the roadway, quite a few cuttings have been made into the sides of the hills, making the road as level as possible the whole of the way, except for the sharp pinch near the township which cannot be improved without considerable expense. All the claims along and near the line of the road furnished their quota of men, as did the storekeepers of the township as well, I believe without exception. The work reflects great credit on all.'

The Circular Ridge of South Tapu Goldfield

Tapu South goldfield 1868
Figure 6: A Survey Plan of the South Tapu Gold Diggings 1867-1868 showing the circular ridge of the South Tapu Goldfields, showing the claims around the ridge in 1868. The Panama Route claim was at the apex of this circular ridge.
Surveyed by A. & H Fisher Bros,
Surveyors & Sharebrokers of Tapu Creek.
Source: Sir George Grey Special Collections,
Auckland Public Library NZ Map 69.
Click to enlarge the photo.
Tapu South goldfield 1868
Figure 7: A high resolution aerial view of the upper circular ridge of the South Tapu Creek Goldfield taken in 1944. In this blow-up version of Figure 5, it is possible to trace the old bullock track all the way around the circuclar ridge. Shafts, mullock heaps and scarring from the mining can be seen throughout the entire area.
Source: Retrolens: A historical Imagery Resource. SN292
Click to enlarge the photo.

In Figures 6 & 7 above, it can be seen that all the claims of the South Tapu Goldfield were situated on the south circular ridge, on what is most likely to be the crater of an ancient, extinct volcano. It cannot be a coincidence that in all three Tapu Creek Goldfields (North, Middle and South), all the gold-bearing quartz reefs were found beneath these three old volcanic rims. This phenomenon of finding gold associated with volcanic regions is described in the article Gold and Volcanos - Using geology to Find Gold Deposits, and closer to home in the article Gold and Silver Resources in Taupo Volcanic Zone Geothermal Systems.

The Goldminers of The South Tapu Goldfield 1868.

Who Were They?

Starting on the western rim of the circular ridge, at the first claim you came to as you went up the Panama Ridge bullock track (see figures 1 and 3), the claims of the South Tapu Creek Goldfield were:

  1. Oriental Claim Claim registered 20 July 1868. Claimholders: 6 men`s ground. Bernard RYAN, Robert DONALD, Edward QUICK, Andrew WEBSTER, William DRAKE, D. K. McRAE.
  2. The New Zealand Herald 23 October 1868: 'The Oriental claim consists of 6 men's ground. It adjoins the Bank of England and the Pride of Caledonia claims, being situated on the main ridge running southwards from the Golden Horn to the Panama Route. It has been worked now over 4 months, during which time the shareholders have struggled against many reverses. The ground on the western (coastal) side of the ridge is very wet, and it is on this side that one tunnel has been lost entirely through a heavy slip, which took the whole face of the hill away, leaving a complete wreck. (Editor's note: See Figure 7 above, on the left hand side of the aerial photo of the south circular ridge, you can clearly see the steep, scrub-covered western face of the hill that was lost during this slip. It is notable that all western-facing ground is covered in vegetation (being exposed to the prevaling winds and wet weather), while eastern-facing slopes are relatively drier and bare of vegetation.)
    The shareholders however, with indomitable perseverance, put in another tunnel at a slghtly higher level and bearing due west. In this drive, they have this week been rewarded for their labours in having, at a distance of 70 feet in, cut through two mullocky leaders, one 8 inches, the other 6 inches in width, and getting wider as they descend. Out of these, they have washed the finest prospect as yet got in that locality, being fully at the rate of 2 to 3 dwts per dish [gold pan]. These two leaders are on either side of a large mullocky reef about 4 feet wide, out of any part of which a good prospect can be obtained. The bearing is north-east and south-west, with a very slight dip to the eastward. It is their intention to sink a shaft on the eastern side of the leader to catch the dip at a lower level. It is anticipated that on getting further into the hill, they will strike the main reef, which very probably exists in that locality because all the reefs and leaders of the Panama Route and Bank of England have been traced into their ground. The shareholders of this claim had only just obtained protection for their claim. Two of the party had gone out to work, leaving the other four to contunue the western drive, when last Thursday, they reaped the reward of all their toils and misfortunes. The news of their success soon spread, and the whole of the ground was rushed. There is every probability now that the lead will be traced directly from the good claims near the Full Moon right on to the Panama Route. Diggers often call to mind the old adage, 'there is as good fish in the sea as ever was caught' and the simile may hold good with reference to the ground now taken up.'
  3. Bank of England Claim
  4. The New Zealand Herald 22 September 1868: 'In the Bank of England claim, nothing fresh has been struck lately, with the exception of some leaders in the new drive, which is bearing for the shaft. This drive is in about 45 feet, and they expect to find the leader for which they are driving in the next 20 feet. The main drive is now about 90 feet long, and they are still working on the leader which is now about a foot thick. The gold appears to run well into the stone, with tests of the mullock yielding about one ounce of loose gold per ton. The low-level drive that they were just starting last time I was here, is now in about 40 feet. It is bearing about south, in expectation of catching a fine reef which has been found close to their boundary by the Star of the West Claim. They expect to come to it in a few days.'
    The New Zealand Herald 23 October 1868: 'The Bank of England has again been fortunate during the week in striking another quartz reef 3 feet thick, from which they have washed a good prospect. The gold is all through the stone, some of which has been crushed and yielded better than any previously obtained.'
    The New Zealand Herald 24 November 1868: 'The prospects of the Bank of England claim have not improved lately. The drive which is bearing south-easterly from the main tunnel has not succeeded in finding the leader which was cut into the shaft and which could not be worked because of the water. The leader was quite horizontal but is undoubtedly an offshoot from some main reef. It is in all probability an offshoot of the Oriental reef, and may therefore be found dipping towards it. The drive is being carried in a proper direction for this purpose, and about 100 feet in. The whole of the workings in this claim are far too shallow, and they are now actively working on putting down a main shaft, which is strongly timbered and of good workmanship. The depth is now about 27 feet. A good position has been chosen with respect to the veins and leaders which are known to exist and also so as to enable them in all probability to cut into the Pride of Caledonia reef.'
  5. Pride of Caledonia & Bluenose Amalgamated Claims
  6. The New Zealand Herald 22 September 1868: 'The Pride of Caledonia and Bluenose (amalgamated) are getting on rapidly with their main low-level drive in which three shifts are working. The position of this drive is about 30 feet below the level of the main drive in the Panama Route Claim, and they are now following along their boundary, with the direction of the drive a few degrees to the northward of the Pamama Route main drive. The level of the Pride of Caledonia & Bluenose Amalgamated drive is about 110 feet below where their boundary crosses the ridge, immediately below the Panama flagstaff. They are now in about 55 feet, and have cut through an excellent reef about 40 feet from the entrance, where about 5 grains of gold was washed from half a dish [gold pan] of mullock. Numbers of pieces of quartz were also taken out of it in which the gold was plainly visible. This reef is over a foot in width, dipping to the west and bearing about north and south. In a few feet more, they expect to cut into the large reef that was cut through by the neighbours (Panama Route) in their main drive but they have the advantage of being 30 feet lower. They have laid down a tramway and are working hard to get up to the rich main reef of the Panama Route. They also intend putting on a day-shift to work a leader from which good results were obtained some time ago.'
    The New Zealand Herald 23 October 1868: 'Since my last visit, The Pride of Caledonia has opened a cutting on one of the surface leaders, from which magnificent prospects of loose gold and specimens were obtained. They deemed it wiser however to proceed with the main drive and cut the reefs which they know to be running through their ground from the Panama Route and Bank of England claims. Their main drive is now over 120 feet, with a tramway the whole length of the drive. They have cut through several leaders in this tunnel, but the principal is a reef 7 feet thick, out of mullock of which a good prospect can be obtained, but what is far more important, a good prospect can be obtained by crushing the stone. A few feet ahead of their present workings, they expect to cut into another reef at a depth of about 100 feet from the surface. After this, the leader first mentioned and a short distance beyond that again is the reef just discovered in the Oriental which runs straight through their ground and into the Panama Route. So altogether, the propects of this claim are equal to any on this gold field.'
    The New Zealand Herald 24 November 1868: 'The Pride of Caledonia and the Bluenose Amalgamated. This claim is still busy in their low-level drive which is cutting along the boundary between Pride of Caledonia and the Panama Route claim, at a level of about 30 feet lower than the main low-level of the Panama Route. The distance gone in this drive is about 195 feet. They have however cut through a much larger number of leaders than their neighbours, although both drives are bearing to the eastward and are situated within short distance of each other. At about 100 feet from the entrance, a main reef was cut through about 8 feet in width, composed of about three-quarters solid quartz. Both the mullock and the stone yielded an excellent prospect. The course of the leader is about north and south and quite perpendicular, with a smooth backing of tenacious clay. Another reef is supposed to be a short distance further on, which in all probability will be much larger than the last. If the strata does not become much harder, they expect to come up with it in about two weeks. They have high hopes as to the probable richness of this reef, as the prospects obtainable from any part of it in the surface works of the Oriental were surprising. In a cutting which was made in the surface in this claim some time ago, which is nearly opposite the point at present attained in their drive, a leader was discovered which yielded some of the best prospects yet obtained. Because of the shaky nature of the soil, it is not considered advisable to proceed with it at present. All the stuff taken out is being stacked for crushing. The work is being carried out in a most satisfactory manner, the tramway works well and the drainage is well secured.'
  7. Panama Route Claim Claim registered 13 June 1868. Claimholders: About 7 men`s ground. Kenneth McKENZIE, Kenneth STEWART, John URQUHART, Duncan URQUHART, Alexander McKENZIE, John McLEOD.
  8. The New Zealand Herald 22 September 1868: 'The Panama Route claim is improving greatly in appearance under the new manager, Mr Kelly, who has considerable experience in reefing matters, and appears in every way well-qualified to work this important claim to the greatest advantage. The low-level drive on the eastern boundary has been abandoned for the low-level drive on the western side of the hill, which is now chosen as the main drive. All hands are engaged in carrying on this work, which as regards height, width and workmanship, is the best on this goldfield. This drive is now in a distance of 75 feet, and several fine leaders and reefs have been cut through, in all of which gold can be seen, so prospects are good. In one place, the width of the reef which is composed of splendid-looking quartz, is 15 feet through. They are preparing to lay down tramway, which will greatly facilitate the work. When this drive reaches the main reef, the manager thinks he will be able to get out one hundred tons of crushing stuff per week. The company intend to send a quantity of stuff to Gibbon and Co's machine. They are at present puddling and cradling the stuff, getting through about a ton a day, and obtaining about 1 oz gold on average, to each ton. I saw numbers of splendid specimens taken out of the cradle, in which gold could be seen running right through the stone.'
    The New Zealand Herald 23 October 1868: 'In the Panama Route, the main drive is still being carried on, and preparations are being made for laying a tramway. The length of this drive is now upwards of 120 feet. They have erected a neat little forge with fanners etc in which they can do all the smith work of the claims. A quantity of stuff, after being puddled, has been calcined (burnt) and is shortly to be sent to the machine of Gibbons and Co to be tested.'
    The New Zealand Herald 24 November 1868: 'The main low-level drive in the Panama Route claim is being vigorously proceeded with, the distance attained is about 105 (?) feet. They expect to have to go about 50 feet further ahead to get on to the principal reef. A few small leaders have been passed lately but nothing of importance. This drive is perfectly straight, and they will have sufficent light from a small reflector place at the mouth of the drive to carry them in without the aid of candles, except at night. The main reef is expected to be cut into in about two weeks. The workmanship of the tunnel and tramway reflects great credit on their manager, Mr Kelly.
    The New Zealand Herald 12 December 1868: 'Mr D. Urquhart, an excellent prospector, was the discoverer of the Panama Route Claim.
  9. Hope Claim Claim registered 21 July 1868. Claimholders: 7 men`s ground. Robert A. BROWN, Francis G. HOLT, John J. HARRIS, John LEWIS, John SCHOLES.
  10. The New Zealand Herald 31 October 1868: 'A rush took place a day or two ago to the ground adjacent to the Hope Claim. This was caused by the Hope shareholders striking a fine-looking quartz reef six feet thick. The quartz is of a whitish kind, crystallised and with veins of slate running through it. I believe gold has been seen in it but none has been tested. This claim has been protected lately, and the shareholders have just started work again. Good prospects can be obtained from the surface in almost any part of the claim.'
    The New Zealand Herald 24 November 1868: 'The Hope claim is situated about 7 or 8 chains to the south-east of the Panama Route claim, and on a spur south from the main ridge. Gold can be found on the surface nearly all over the eastern slope of the spur, but not on the top or western side. The workings are therefore all on the eastern side. The drives, shafts and cuttings are very numerous, each having been given up in turn as something better was discovered elsewhere. They have also had to abandon numbers of their drives because the upper strata is very shaky. The slips are not local in character, or confined to a few feet, but when the ground becomes loosened up, the whole strata appears to become affected. In the last drive which they had to abandon, they had followed a well-defined vein, 2 or 3 feet in thickness for a distance of about 80 feet. They have now set in at a lower level of about 15 feet, and have got into the blue rock, which is an excellent indication. It is anticipated that the numerous leaders and feeders which may be found almost anywhere on this side of the hill, may become joined into one main reef now that the solid strata has been met with. They expect to cut into their principal vein in this drive about the end of the month. As regards this vein, the course is about north and south. It is quite perpendicular, and the wall is of smooth tenacious clay. Although nothing extra has been found on this claim up until now, yet numbers of practical miners are of the opinion that it will eventually turn out well. Mr Rockcliffe, the new overseer of Messrs Gibbons and Co's machine who has great experience in mining matters, has expressed his willingness to erect a machine on the claim for a share in it.'
  11. Bonnie Dundee Claim: Claim registered 4 December 1868. Claimholders: 6 men`s ground. Joshua OCKLESTON, George CRAIG, Michael MAHER, Martin PETERSON, William STEVENSON, Ed. D. CARVER, John BROWN, George DOYLE.
  12. The New Zealand Herald 24 November 1868: 'The Bonnie Dundee is a claim recently taken up on the northern boundary of the Hope Claim. They have already got excellent prospects, and have discovered a reef of quartz on the surface, some distance above the level of their present drive.
  13. Coming Event Claim
  14. The New Zealand Herald 24 November 1868: 'The Coming Event is situated on the north side of the Bonnie Dundee claim, and the eastern side of Bluenose. It is probable that the veins which no doubt enter this claim from the Panama Route, and most likely also the leads which are being followed by the Full Moon and other claims in that locality, also bear through this ground but in all probability it may lie much deeper than they have yet penetrated.'
  15. Kenilworth Claim
  16. New Zealand Herald 22 September 1868: 'The Kenilworth Claim consists of 8 men's ground and has been worked for about five weeks. It is bounded by the Bank of England, the Pride of Caledonia, the Panama Route and the Star of the West claims. The high-level drive is about on the same level as the main drive in the Pride of Caledonia, and is being carried in nearly the same direction along the northern boundary of the Panama Route. They are in now about 80 feet, and expect daily to strike the reef which was cut through by their neighbours, the Pride of Caledonia. They also have a shaft a short distance to the westward of those three tunnels which are now being put in by these three companies. The depth of the shaft is now 40 feet. They expect to cut through the dip of the reef found in the Pride of Caledonia's tunnel, and after that the large reef cut through in the Panama Route's tunnel. They have also another drive at a lower level bearing a little to the east of south, in expectation of cutting into some good leaders which were found by their neighbours of the Star of the West Claim. This drive is in about 80 feet but as yet, they have not succeeded in catching them, and it has been abandoned for the present in favour of the upper drive.'
    The New Zealand Herald 24 November 1868: 'The Kenilworth claim is improving in appearance daily. The main shaft is the deepest from the surface of any in Tapu, the depth obtained is just about 100 feet. During the last few days, they have had the satisfaction of cutting into a fine vein of quartz, much burnt and very promising in appearance, and what is better still, yielding an excellent prospect. They have gone through several small veins and feeders, all of which are gold-bearing. There is no doubt that they will find them all again in this low-level, as they now intend to drive from the bottom of the shaft. The position of this shaft is about 100 feet west of the Pride of Caledonia's main tunnel, and it will be remembered that a vein of quartz about 2 feet in thickness and yeilding good payable prospect was crossed about 40 feet from the entrance. In the tunnel, which is being carried in from a point close to the Pride's tunnel but bearing south-easterly along the southern boundary of the Panama Route, the distance attained is 140 feet. At about 120 feet, they cut through a vein of good payable quartz about 2 feet in thickness and underlying to the westward. This is without a doubt the same as that gone through at 40 feet in the Pride's tunnel before mentioned. In about 15 feet more, they will have driven on to their boundary. They have conceded to their neighbours of the Young American claim that in return for supplying them half the labour to carry on this tunnel to the boundary, they will permit them to make use of it in continuing on through the Young American claim.'
  17. Young American Claim Claim registered 12 June 1868. Claimholders: 3 men`s claim. Donald McDONALD, Hector FRASER, Allan GILLIES, Timothy CLARK, Murdock D. SUTHERLAND.

  18. Star of the West Claim
  19. The New Zealand Herald 22 September 1868: 'The Star of the West Claim is situated on the western boundary of the Kenilworth Claim. They are busily employed in putting down a shaft a short distance below the Kenilworth shaft. They had the good fortune to cut through an excellent reef about 20 feet from the surface. About a pennyweight of gold and a number of specimens are said to be obtained per single dish [gold pan]. In the main drive, which is now 110 feet in length, they have also obtained first-rate prospects from several leaders which have been cut through, and all of which would pay for working. They have ordered a small crushing machine of their own which is to be worked by horse-power. The iron work alone has cost 170, and it is expected to start operations on their own claim in about 6 weeks.'
    The New Zealand Herald 24 November 1868: 'In the Star of the West, preparations are being made for the construction of the two horse crushing machine on their claim. The machinery has arrived, the timber is cut and on the ground, and it may be expected to begin operations before Christmas.
  20. Oliver Cromwell Claim

  21. United Kingdom Claim Claim registered 17 July 1868. Claimholders: 6 men`s ground. John POPPLEWELL, John REILLY, Thomas KILLGOUR, Henry G. CLIFFORD, James KELLY, George McVAY, William MUIR.

  22. Cheshire Cheese Claim

  23. Circular Saw Claim Claim registered 19 June 1868. Claimholders: 5 men`s ground. Robert ALEXANDER, Charles KASPER, John PARKER, James LAWRIE, William MECHAN.

  24. Diehard Claim
  25. The New Zealand Herald 22 September 1868: 'On the Die-Hard claim, there has been a great deal of work done since my last visit. They have cleared away a large space for a considerable depth, at the junction of two creeks, and have now got the leader well opened out. They have also done a great deal of work in clearing a safe place in which to stack their quartz. The leader is now about 3 feet in thickness and is enclosed in a casing of sandstone. They have just finished the construction of a sluice 36 feet long, and will pass all their stuff through it before stacking it. They estimate that when they get going, they will be able to get out about 70 tons of crushing stuff per week. From the prospects which are obtainable from the mullock around the leader, they reckon the loose gold they will get by sluicing will pay all the expenses of working the claim.'
  26. Standard Claim

  27. Flying Dutchmen Claim Claim registered 29 June 1868. Claimholders: About 6 men`s ground. Thomas YOUNG, Alexander QUINN, James GOODWIN, William DAVEY, Frank AMODEO, George McVAY, J. A. POND, James BERRY.


The New Zealand Herald 23 October 1868: 'The Melbourne firm who are erecting crushing machinery on the creek arising out of the basin on which the Panama Route, Pride of Caledonia, Bank of England, Kenilworth, Oriental and Die Hard are situated, are pushing energetically ahead. The site for the machine is being excavated, and the dam being made, and the sawyers are busily employed getting timber ready for buildings. The above mentioned claims have given half of the men in each claim to form a road to the beach to bring up the machinery, which has arrived by the 'Hero'. The road is being made rapidly, and although several bridges have had to be constructed, it is already half done. Giving so many of their number towards the making of this road has of course slowed the working of these claims considerably, but still substantial progress has been made.'

Editor's note: The creek from the Panama Route basin down to the beach, the Langland's machine site and the route for the proposed road to the beach are all marked on the Fisher survey plan shown in Figures 1 & 3.

The Union Quartz Crushing Company
The New Zealand Herald 24 November 1868: 'The Union Quartz Crushing Company are making very great progress with the construction of their (quartsz crushing) mill near the Die Hard Claim. The bed plates are already laid and a large dam made. Nine tons of machinery was landed on Thursday from the cutter 'Spey' without accident, on the beach where the creek coming down from the machine site enters the sea. Some more of the machinery is still on board, the cutter having to haul off because of the westerly wind and surf increasing. The boiler is in sections, and no part of the machinery will weigh over about 1.5 tons. The boiler will take about three weeks to rivet together and get into position. An excellent road, the best on this goldfield has been cut from the beach up the creek bed to the machine site. All the claims in this localty sent about two men each for a period of three weeks to assist in cutting it, the company also furnishing a quota of men and materials. This site was applied for a little over a month ago, and if work carries on at this speed, they will most likely be ready to begin crushing by the end of the year.'

There is a lot more information about the early history of the Tapu Goldfield, its miners and their claims to be found in the The Goldminers' Database: a freely available fully searchable online database of the Goldminers of New Zealand, as well in the accompanying book, 'Goldrush To The Thames, New Zealand 1867 - 1868' by Kae Lewis. Parawai Press 2017.


THE TAPU GOLDIFELD 1867-68: Part I: The First Few Months.

THE TAPU GOLDIFELD 1867-68: Part II: North of Tapu Creek.

THE TAPU GOLDIFELD 1867-68: Part III: The Middle Tapu Creek.

Home Journal