Maud and Maggie

I’ve been a number of times and although the first part of the walk up the Maud Creek is over farm land it is still an interesting place for a wander. So we tagged along with a small tramping club for a day walk up the Maud Creek. 

An early farmer named two creeks on his farm after his daughters, Maggie and Maud. Both the Maggie and Maud creeks, or rivers, join and flow into the Howard, thence into the Buller which flows into the Tasman Sea.  Maud Creek was said to be the richest goldfield in the Howard area. The finders kept it secret then the word got out resulting in a minor gold rush. Around that time (1932) the Government was offering a subsidy to try and keep people in work during the 1930’s Depression. Several hundred men worked the creek and there were even a couple of shops in the valley, along with the huts and tent camps set up by the miners. 

Old corrogated iron Roof rust.

As it seems usual when it comes to gold, there were a number of fights and disputes over claim boundaries and such. And then there was the wood thief. This was solved after dynamite was planted in a log. The thief lost most of his hut when the dynamite exploded and that was the end of the wood stealing although the thief luckily was not injured.  One hut still standing is Haig’s Hut, built by George Haig in the early 1930’s and the walls are made with split beech slabs, the roof of corrugated iron with saplings for the roof framing and a large fireplace made of rocks and corrugated iron. It has been modified and is in reasonable condition. 

There used to be a formed road upstream to another hut but there has been some floods in which the creek or river, in some parts, decided to flow downstream in a straight line, washing away all the topsoil off the road to leave what looks like a dry stony river bed. Not ideal for walking!

Haigs Hut.

We passed an old timber mill with its dilapidated buildings but it looked to be still in occasional operation. Later we came to a large rock in the middle of a field which had a memorial plaque on top with the names of miners who lived and worked in the area. 

Maud Creek – that was.

A sign bolted to the rock read: Please do not shift this rock. There is no gold underneath, we have looked. Signed: the gold miners of 1953.

Old gold miner’s memorial rock.

Nearby was the old Haig’s Hut where we stopped for lunch.  What did Maggie and Maud look like? Why is there  no access up the Maggie? What became of them?  Should not the old mining relics, dams, workings and huts be located and preserved? The area is an historical site and it is really shocking that it hasn’t been restored and or preserved as much as possible.

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