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Volunteers are needed at the Victoria Battery. Photo: GORDON PREECE

Volunteers needed at Waikino Battery

Volunteers are desperately being called for what was once New Zealand’s largest gold mining operation in New Zealand, the Victoria Battery Site in Waikino.
The site that once processed more than 800 tonnes of quartz each day is nestled in the heart of the Karagahake Gorge and is visited by thousands of visitors annually.
Today, the significant history of the site is brought to life by the battery museum, tram tours, and underground kiln tours, and is reliant purely on volunteers. With the busy holiday period approaching, the Victoria Battery Society, which manages the facility, is putting a call out for help.
Society chair Kerry Single said volunteers were critical in preserving the site’s history and bringing its stories to life.
“The stories of the Victoria Battery site are incredibly special and unique, so preserving them foryears to come is vital. Volunteers invest a lot of time into the site, which means visitors can discover it in a way that suits them.”
Kerry said the society “desperately” needed more help, and there was a range of roles for volunteers – from administration and maintenance, to tour guides and tram drivers. All relevant training is provided.
Kerry said the fact that the future for the site was completely dependent on volunteer availability was, at times, worrying, but the ‘keep on keeping on’ mantra was alive and well within the society.
“Finding volunteers is getting more and more difficult and if we continue with this trend, the future of the site really is unknown. I’m hopeful we will find some fresh energy in who can help us continue to make the battery site such a neat asset for the community.”
DETAILS: If you’re interested in helping out, come to the site on a Saturday or Sunday or visit: