Log-on to our history

Katrina Knill —  24/09/2010

An historic bush camp re-enactment will be one of the features of Log Fest on 9 October

Saturday October 9th promises to be a special day for anyone visiting the Karangahake Gorge, as the Victoria Battery gold mining site is transformed into Log Fest, a family event celebrating the timber heritage of New Zealand.

 It is 100 years since the Kauri Timber Company’s first shipment of kauri logs from Waikino to Auckland. These logs were brought down the Waitawheta Tramline, an engineering marvel of its day, which is now part of the Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park near Tauranga.
Events and promotions such as Log Fest are part of the day-to-day work for DOC’s Community Relations staff. Community Relations is the part of DOC responsible for local relationships and community involvement. DOC Area Offices around New Zealand have Community Relations teams that work with the local issues and people, so helping to inform and connect their local communities to the work of DOC.
Our Community Relations Ranger here in Tauranga is Pete Huggins, and he has been organising Log Fest as a celebration of the 100-year anniversary.
Pete has also been working with local media to try and encourage people to attend, saying: “We’d like to invite people from nearby towns and cities to come and explore this exciting piece of historic conservation land. DOC is working with local groups to put on a really special day. We have an historic bush camp where kids of all ages can try using traditional saws, cooking on an open fire, and trying woodturning. There will also be train and horse rides, both of which hark back to the grand old days of rail and horsepower. We also have some excellent talks and guided walks for those who want a bit more detail, and to discover the mining history and relics. It will make a great day out for the last weekend of the school holidays”.
Event details are below – come along and be a part of it!
Entry to the event is free, and extra parking will be available at the Waikino Station, SH2, Karangahake Gorge.
A special train service is running from Waihi on the day. For train times and bookings go to www.waihirail.co.nz.
Games and activities run throughout the day, but the following set times apply:
10.00am – opening of Log Fest
11.00am – unveiling of new tracks and displays
12.00pm – presentation on bush tramways by DOC expert Paul Mahoney
2.00pm – presentation on gold mining by DOC expert Paul Mahoney
4.00pm – close
For event details, visit www.doc.govt.nz and search “Log Fest”
For information about logging history in the Waitawheta Valley go to: http://www.doc.govt.nz/conservation/historic/by-region/bay-of-plenty/waitawheta-bush-tramway/
For information about the history and significance of the Victoria Battery go to:

Katrina Knill


I work for DOCs Tauranga Office, where I co-ordinate our public liaison efforts with stakeholders & the general public. I get to work with our staff and community groups as well as helping out in emergencies such as forest fires, whale strandings and dealing with injured birds, seals etc.

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