Special Publications : Paradise Playground 2012
Paradise Playground 15 Paradise Playground Word has spread about the tours and plenty of groups are now calling to book their trips. For these larger group tours, the tour guide simply climbs aboard their bus and they are away. The on-board coach tour takes about 90 minutes and goes “beyond the fence stuff”, during which people will see and learn about the workings of the Martha opencast and Waihi’s underground mines. The regular daily minivan tours which operate six days a week are slightly more extensive because of numbers and size of the vehicle. It starts with everyone being given high visibility gear and a safety briefing because it goes where heavy machinery is operating. Chief executive Eddie Morrow said the feedback collected from customers was really positive and people really enjoyed the tours. The most commonly asked question is: “Do we get a free sample of gold to take away?” And the standard answer is: “Only if you’re here on the right day!” “Our guides are doing a great job. Their range of knowledge goes back to the beginnings of mining in 1878 through to modern day operations,” said Mr Morrow. “They also get a huge amount of enjoyment out of being able to share their knowledge and meeting visitors from other parts of our country and from around the world.” Special interest groups such as Probus, Garden Circles and Service Clubs make up a larger portion of the group tours. And they are coming to Waihi and making a day of it - doing the Mine Tour, taking the Goldfields Railway train trip, the Pit Rim walkway and having a nice lunch. At the end of the tour, people are encouraged to take the time to visit the Waihi’s Gold Story, downstairs in the visitor centre. “It’s a great way to end the tour and very often visitors say the interactive displays help enhance the processes explained to them while on the tour,” said Mr Morrow. “We are a great town with a bright future and this is an excellent way to showcase our unique history and heritage story.” The minivan tour leaves from the Waihi Visitor Centre at the top of the main street, Monday to Saturday at 10am and 12.30pm. Call in and see if there are spaces available on any tour or phone 07 863 9015 to make bookings, which are recommended. On-board coach tours are by arrangement. Tour into gold mining’s past and present Waihi Gold Mine Tours continue to attract visitors by the busload.
Home and Living 2012