Crown Tramway Track

Crown Tramway Track - Karangahake Gorge

Crown Tramway Track

Karangahake Gorge



11 Rankers Reviews

11 Face-to-Face

442 Walking

19 Waihi

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!



One of the waterfalls in the gorge
A tunnel along the Karangahake Gorge
Walk alongside the river


6 km return | 2 hours return

The scenically spectacular initial sections of the walk through the lower reaches of the Waitawheta River are complemented by the extensive mining history of the area. The track is perched on the rock face and hovers above the rushing waters of the Waitawheta River, which has deeply incised the watershed forming sheer canyon walls.


The start of the walk is signposted from the Karangahake Reserve,600 metres east of the railway overbridge on S.H.2, at the western end of the Karangahake Gorge.

To reach Dickey Flat from S.H.2, follow Waitawheta Road 1.5km and turn right into Kennedy Road. Dickey Flat Road is on the right after 400 metres and continues to a parking area with a DoC campground (piped river water and composting toilets).


From Karangahake Reserve, cross the footbridge and continue straight ahead. The metalled and even track is cut into the side of the rock face and perches above the Waitawheta River.

After 15 minutes, you can continue straight ahead to the underground pump house. You will need a torch through the tunnel, which bears right and descends a steep bank to rejoin the main track. You can also return by the same tunnel entrance.

To continue to Dickey Flat, cross the footbridge over the Waitawheta River. The track becomes unmetalled and, in a few places, is muddy and requires short descents to cross narrow side streams.

After approximately 1 hour, there is a 100-metre-long tunnel, where you will need a torch. Shortly after, a footbridge recrosses the Waitawheta River to join the Dubbo 96 Track.

Continue straight ahead for 10 minutes, crossing another footbridge to the carpark and campground at Dickey Flat.

European History

The Crown Mine was situated on both sides of the Waitawheta River, which formed a natural cross-cut through the reefs. The initial claim was taken up in 1883 and extensive workings started further up the Waitawheta River. The Crown Tramway was constructed to transport ore from Railey’s Battery 2.5km up the river.

This was dismantled in 1888 and a crushing plant was erected on the same site. The Crown Mine ore was the first in the world to be treated by the patented McArthur Forrest potassium cyanide process in 1889. The patent for the process was held by the Cassell Company.

The Crown Battery was constructed in 1891 and by 1898 there were 60 stamps. It ceased operation in 1916.

The Paeroa water supply pipeline, which follows the route of the Crown Tramway lines the side of the track.


Feature Value Info


North IslandBay of PlentyWaihi


  • Walking
  • Free



Maddie F's avatar

Maddie F

Ranking: 7/10

Great views but we could enter in only one mine, others are closed. Public toilets at the beginning but very small parking.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Doug's avatar


United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Amazing choice of walks, really beautiful swimming spots.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

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Franz Birkefeld's avatar

Franz Birkefeld


Ranking: 10/10

This walk was so amazing! I did it with 3 locals which knew all about it and all the secret caves so we went for a few jumps and even saw the glowworms in the old pumphouse/cave.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in March 2014

A Ormsby's avatar

A Ormsby

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10


Reviewed about 8 years ago and experienced in March 2012

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M Neuman's avatar

M Neuman

United States

Ranking: 10/10

Excellent. Great hike, all different levels, nice park.

Reviewed over 8 years ago and experienced in February 2012

Nicola Thackray's avatar

Nicola Thackray


Ranking: 9/10

Popped up out of no where and was stunning. Yet more amazing scenery.

Reviewed over 9 years ago

Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.

Thomas Ebueter's avatar

Thomas Ebueter

Ranking: 9/10

Well sign posted, useful information along the track.

Reviewed over 9 years ago

Ivo Braakhuis's avatar

Ivo Braakhuis


Ranking: 8/10

Nice track (and it's free) which was used as a goldmine facility. Different tracks (20mins to 3 hours) along the track and lots of information.

Reviewed over 10 years ago

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Sebastien Briant's avatar

Sebastien Briant


Ranking: 6/10

Not very spectacular for the eyes. Interesting for the historical topics presented there.

Reviewed over 10 years ago

selinab's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

I wish I had spent more time on this walk. Interesting history combined with a beautiful location.

Reviewed over 10 years ago

Bill Nash's avatar

Bill Nash

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

3-5 hr moderate walk through great scenery and really interesting disused gold mine workings. Very good information boards - all brings history to life.

Reviewed almost 11 years ago

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner