Story: Gold and gold mining

Arahura River mouth, 1846

Arahura River mouth, 1846

Charles Heaphy sketched this scene of the Arahura on the West Coast about 1846, well before gold was discovered in New Zealand. Subsequently, an unknown watercolourist copied the scene to produce this painting. The explorers Heaphy and Thomas Brunner used Māori guides, but their journals make no reference to gold. Another explorer, James Mackay, visited in 1857, but on the topic of gold thought the West Coast ‘as destitute of that article as the Nelson provincial treasury’. But he was wrong, as the gold discoveries of the 1860s would prove.

About this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: A-048-025
Watercolour after a drawing by Charles Heaphy

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Gold and gold mining - Māori and Chinese miners', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/8742/arahura-river-mouth-1846 (accessed 19 November 2017)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 12 Jun 2006