Waitui Goldfields Trip, Saturday 11 February
Our organised visit to the former Waitui goldfields in Upper Takaka on a perfect day was a huge success, with 45 adults and several children participating. They heard from Blue Horton, whose grandparents worked the small river for six years in the depression of the 1930s, and also from Dr Mike Johnston of Nelson, who explained some of the dramatic geological events that shaped the immediate landscape. Gold was first found in the Waitui in mid-1858, but no traces remain of the workings, because manual alluvial gold-mining is very low impact.
Nowadays the river powers a small hydro plant which drives the irrigation system, with any surplus being fed into the national grid.