Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 5, May 1966



The first track from Paeroa left the Warden Court corner - the present site of Paeroa Courthouse and Police residence - at the corner of Willoughby and Victoria Streets. It passed through the Drill Hall site and the Central School play ground, followed the lower side of Olga Street, crossed Bennett Street at intersection of Nahum Street, down past site of Joe Pennell's house (now gone). Here it branched. (One branch turning across and through Paeroa Racecourse followed the foothills to Thames.) The Waitekauri track led on up the small valley, through the old Paeroa Rifle Range below the gum plantation; then up the spur and followed the ridge on the North bank of Tarariki Stream (Paeroa County Reservoir). Winding around and over two main spurs it emerged from heavy bushland on the north-western side of the Waitekauri Peak. It was on the eastern side of the peak that the rich patch of "Butlers Find" was located.

About 30 years ago (circa 1930) the writer followed this route and found much of the original track through the bush well defined, and much of the fascine work in soft places was in a fair state of preservation. This track was first blazed in late 1875 and was used regularly until 1890/5. From Waitekauri to Waihi the road went via Chappel's [or Chappell – E] Ford near the crossroads, at Luthers (earlier days Kinsella's).

This road came out on the present Waihi-Paeroa highway at Brenan & Co's Fertilizer dumps and followed the line of pines opposite on the almost straight route to Kati Kati. Thence for some time Tauranga was reached by ship.

1st ROAD to Waitekauri from Paeroa went via Rahu Road, Mackaytown, to Waikino, climbing up past Waikino Hall, over Earl's Hill and eventually followed the present existing road. (From the Waitekauri township (1878) prospectors made tracks and extended their activities to Waihi, Golden Cross, Komata and upper Maratoto.)

MR. C. GWILLIAM is one of our most valued locally born historians, some of whose work we are holding for future issues, along with that of his late father. We sent greetings to his 90 year old Mother at Mt. Maunganui.

MR. GEO. WORTH is one of the oldest miners still residing in his birthplace, Waihi, his father having been a pioneer prospector. He is always a willing and valuable source of reference. Our congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Worth who are celebrating their golden wedding this month.