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Adventures With Kerepehi School

As children, there’s nothing better than extra curricular adventures with your school friends. And as adventures go, bike rides topped off with overnight camping would possibly come top of the list.

In October this year, not just one class, but the entire Kerepehi School headed en masse to the Karangahake Gorge. The overnight stay at Waitewheta Camp amounted to a whopping 72 children aged 5 -13 years, and 22 adults to ensure a safe and successful outing.

The children in Years 3 to 8 (7-13yrs) rode a 13km stretch of the Hauraki Rail Trail from Paeroa to the Victoria Battery and Museum. It was an incredible sight to see 54 children on bikes exploring this fascinating Section of the Rail Trail.


Photo credit: Kerepehi School


The Thames Seagull Centre who recycle goods destined for the landfill donated 7 bikes which the children were allowed to keep. Arthur Harsant from the Centre also spent three days checking and maintaining the student’s own bikes. Ngatea School kindly lent an additional 15 bikes and 20 helmets for children without bikes.

To ensure a safe and fun trip, Del Read and Maryann Kerr from the Council funded initiative of Safe Cycling visited the school, giving lessons on bike safety and to check the children’s helmets were the correct fit.

The logistics of this epic and ambitious ride were covered by Local transport company KTL. The team donated their time and vehicles over the two days, delivering the bikes to the start of the ride in Paeroa, and collecting them at the end. They also dropped off the students bags, food and supplies to the Camp.


Photo credit: Margaret Corbin


The two day extravaganza packed in the fun with plenty of visits to local attractions. With so much to see and do along this Section of the Trail, the children were spoilt for choice with a great combination of indoor and outdoor activities.


Bullswool Farm

The Farm was chosen for the 5 & 6 year old Juniors. Just minutes from the Karangahake Gorge Walkway, it’s a unique slice of rural paradise. The working farm has a variety of animals in their natural flocks and herds, ranging from miniature horses and cattle to deer and donkeys. Family Passes are available.


Victoria Battery Tramway & Museum

Named after Queen Victoria in her 60th jubilee year, the Battery had 200 stampers - the largest number at one time of any similar site in the world crushing an average of 800 tonnes of ore per day, six days a week. It was the largest quartz ore processing plant in Australasia and one of the biggest industrial sites in New Zealand in the early 1900’s.



Goldfields Historic Railway

The Goldfields Historic Railway operates a daily timetable between Waihi and Waikino. Riders can take their bike on the vintage train for the 30 minute journey. Grab a juice at the cafe, and stop for a picnic and a play in the picturesque Waikino Gorge. 



The Waihi Gold Discovery Centre

Waihi Gold Mine Tours take you inside the fence to experience modern day gold mining up close. Visitors are shown every stage of the process from ore extraction and crushing, through to final processing. The kids got to rattle the drill, crank the handles and immerse themselves in lots of fun and interactive activities.


Photo credit: Kerepehi School


Martha Mine pit rim walk

This exciting walk begins at the Cornish Pumphouse and rises gently to the edge of the open pit for the overwhelming view down into the vast chasm. The wide gravel path continues West on an easy gradient around to the highest point on the North wall where the view is breathtaking. Interpretative signs offer interesting facts as you complete the 4km loop back to the Pumphouse.


Photo credit: @globetrottingnomads on Instagram


The Cornish Pumphouse

The Cornish Pumphouse was built around 1904, from a design used in the tin mines of Cornwall in England. The structure housed steam engines and pumping machinery. Constructed by Hathorn-Davey, the horizontal Cornish pump was the pride of the New Zealand mining industry, and today the remains are protected by the Historic Places Trust.


Photo credit: Kerepehi School


A Visit to the Oceana Gold Education Centre

Guided tours at the Centre help students to gain an overall perspective of mining and its place in New Zealand today. The facility provides a curriculum-linked activity circuit and educational programme to all age groups. There is a purpose-built classroom space where students can participate in a range of activities related to mining, minerals, environmental practices, resource use, land rehabilitation, geology, technology and other aspects of the minerals industry.


The Hauraki Rail Trail Charitable Trust wish to thank everyone who made this experience possible for the children, and we look forward to welcoming other local schools and groups on the Trail.


Photo credit: Margaret Corbin


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