Waiuta is halfway between Reefton and Greymouth. It is signposted from SH7, 21 km south of Reefton. Turn onto Waiuta Rd, then right onto Blackwater Rd, which becomes Pearce Rd. Twenty kilometres south of Reefon and 16kms up a side road are the remnants of the ‘ghost town’ Waiuta, a once bustling settlement that sat atop the South Island’s richest gold mine.

A 9 km drive up a narrow sealed road first takes you to Blackwater, where the old school is, well worth stopping to visit. Sit at one of the desks, dip a pen nib in the inkwell, and you’re ready for a lesson from another time. Beyond Blackwater a good shingle road winds up through forest for 8km to emerge on Waiuta’s Top Road. The main information area is about half a kilometre on, overlooking the Blackwater Mine site.

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