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Your Complete Guide to New Zealand's Beautiful Coromandel Peninsula

Bartley Graphics The Alternate Village
Coromandel Peninsula • New Zealand

Waikino Village nestles in the hills above S.H.2 at the eastern end of the Karangahake Gorge through which the Ohinemuri River carves a sometimes treacherous course.

The village originally developed in the 1890s around the processing of quartz-locked gold from Waihi's mine at the Victoria Battery.  The Victoria Battery, the largest of its type in the southern hemisphere, was operating 24 hours a day, employing hundreds of workers.
The closure of the battery in 1952 sounded a death knell for the village as many of the residents moved out in order to gain employment elsewhere.

 Ohinemuri RiverHowever, in the 1970s, Waikino emerged from its ghost town image when a small community of people gathered in the area and opened a treasury of arts and crafts around the nucleus of the Waikino Tavern.  This was the era of alternative lifestyles and an image which the village still retains today.

But Waikino was not without its dramas.  The Ohinemuri River can be a savage river and The Flood of 1981 literally swept shops and homes away, leaving Waikino without a commercial focus.

Today with the Goldfields Railway Station as a thriving new focus, and with the numerous art and craft studios open to visitors who stray into the warren of roads above S.H.2, Waikino is more than ready to share their unique history and give a glimpse of their lifestyle.

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This write up from "Paradise Playground 97-98" from the Waihi Gazette. Thanks.