Buller Gorge Swingbridge
                                 
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Buller Gorge Goldmining History
 
 
 
 
Hard-To-Get-Gold
 
 
 
 

With every gravel beach and rock bar on one side of the Buller River was worked for gold in the 19th century, the lack of a road meant that the side on which Buller Gorge Swingbridge Adventure and Heritage Park resides was mostly untouched. Just a few daring diggers ventured across in boats or picked their way down the gorge from Maruia Valley. Once they reached the peninsula they made the most of their opportunity as shafts, tunnels and stacked tailing stones on their gold claims testify.

The construction of the first bridge, some time around the start of the 20th century, not only made the peninsula easier to reach but also enabled them to pipe in much-needed water to accelerate the speed of the gold-winning. Grand schemes were even mooted to work the bed of the Buller, including scooping it out with a giant dragline and dewatering it via a diversion tunnel through the neck of the peninsula.