Britannia Track

  • 3 hr 15 min return via same track
  • Easy

A gentle climb along a wide mining road to an old battery site.

Pelton wheel, Britannia Battery • By Matthew.
Key information
Walking time
3 hr 15 min
Distance
9.0km
Type
Return via same track
Return via same track
Grade
Easy
Bookings
No bookings — open access
No — open access
Find it
Starts
Britannia Road car park, SH67 2km north of Waimangaroa
()
Maps
NZTopo50-BR21
Altitude
40m – 570m
Altitude change 530m

 Turn off the highway north of Waimangaroa onto O'Connor Road. Drive through the farm following occasional DOC markers. The pleasant car park and picnic area is located near Stony Stream. The track from here leads up the valley, crossing a section

Stony Stream • By Matthew.

A farm track leads along the true left of the stream, skirting a paddock under a diverse forest border: rimu, kahikatea, kamahi, rata. A wide and smoothly graded bullock track continues through the stream edge forest, climbing easily. A sign marks the gold fossicking area after 20 minutes.

Continuing upvalley, several tracks lead off. The first drops down to the Republic Battery site. A few scattered remnants remain here. The second side track leads quickly to an old adit, full of cave weta. The main track becomes rougher and crosses a few hillside streams before turning off the bullock track (which runs out soon anyway) and dropping to the Britannia Battery site.

The restored battery is impressive. There are also cyanide tanks, a Pelton wheel, and a berdan, all in good condition. The Britannia Mining Company began work in 1896 with small stampers, and ceased in 1910. The area was reopened in 1925, and the 5-head stamper battery present today was installed. The operation ceased again in 1937. 

Britannia Battery • By Matthew.

A good alternative route down is to visit the Republic Battery site then locate a vague trail leading downstream. A lightly marked track crosses to the far bank and back again few minutes later. An old miners' road soon leads back to the main track by the gold fossicking sign. If you don't mind wet feet, the prettiness of the forest and stream are a worthwhile reward.

Walking times up: 1 hr 45 min.
Return via Republic Battery and the creek: 1 hr 30 min.

Map
ID 3359

About this track

Added 15 January 2009 by MatthewMatthew. 1 revision 4 March 2009 by MatthewMatthew.
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