The Victoria Battery at Waikino operated from 1897 to 1954. It was the largest quartz ore processing plant in Australasia and one of the biggest industrial sites in New Zealand in the early 1900s. Then it was the largest producer of gold.
Today the kilns, concrete foundations, steel relics and the Transformer (Sub Station) House are all that remain on this once huge industrial site.
The Transformer House is now the Museum which has a large collection of artefacts, machinery, and photographs of the site. Tours are available through this and the tunnel which goes beneath the kilns that were used to “cook” the rocks before they continued on to the processing plant.
Take a ride on the electric Tram which once transported the ore from underground at the mines.
The Victoria Battery is part of the Hauraki Rail Trail and Karangahake Walkway. Access is via the walkway bridge over the Ohinemuri river from either the Waikino railway station or opposite the Waikino Hotel. Or if you cross from SH2 over the one-way bridge onto Waitawheta Road and turn immediately left and follow the road to the end gate parking area, you can walk from there.