Black’s Point

The next morning I had a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs on toast at a cafe while waiting for my car to thaw.  Then I headed up to Black’s Point.  It’s a few km down the road to Christchurch.  There is a walk that goes around some old mining sites.  Normally it takes about 5 hours, but it took me 6, because there were so many trees down over the track.  I had also decided a normal daybag would be too easy, so I did it with my FSMO pack on.  25kgs of integrity!

Murray Creek.

I headed up the track to the left.  It goes steeply up the hill.  The track has been affected by the recent snow and a lot of trees had fallen.

View of Black’s Point from about 5 min up the hill

View of Reefton from about 300m up

After a gain of 400m in elevation the track flattens out.  The condition is good.Being an Aucklander I am still fascinated by snow.


After about 1 hr 30 min the relics started to appear.

Golden Fleece mine shaft

Just around the corner is the Ajax shaft.

Not much to see here except some machinery pieces lying around

This tame bird followed me around both mine sites

Some buner up on the hill near the Ajax shaft

A bit further along there is a horse whim.  This was a method of using horses to pull a cable to shift trolleys.  However being tethered up seems nothing like a whim!

The raised parts are where the horses walked. the spindle was in the lower middle section

After this the track follws an old tramway.After 2 1/2hrs I reached the first intersection.  There is a turnoff to the Inglewood mine and stamping battery.  It is worth a look.

A shaft

Boiler at the main site

There is a lot of stuff left here. Who would want to cart a massive cast iron bucket out?

The next section of track was a lot rougher, with many trees across it.  It leads to the remains of the stamper battery.

The sign is a bit hard to see. Look for this giant . . . thing. (note ancient boot an the left hand side)

I couldn’t see much because it was all covered in snow.I headed back up the track.  from this intersection onward thew track is much wider and suitable for mountain biking.  The sun did not come in to the valley so it was still thick with snow.

As cold as it looks


The Chandlers opencast mine site is here, but covered in snow there is nothing to see.  Similar story at Cement town.


Further along is the Energetic Junction.  It’s a 10min detour tot he mine site.

The shaft

The last section of track was quite mad.  The sign points up the hill, but DON’T take it, as it’s all covered with fallen trees.  Take the bridge.  The rest of the track is wide enough to drive a 4WD down, but was FULL of fallen trees.

Not the worst section at all!

It was a complete faff.  If anyone is going up there with a chainsaw you will have plenty of work.  Otherwise don’t THINK about taking a bike.

At the bottom of the track there is an option of going to the Golden Fleece battery.  It is run by the museum, so you can’t see it unless the museum is open or you have an appointment.After that I zipped up to Westport.  Much better to do it in the evening, when the frost has thawed out.

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