Bucket Dredge Walk

Bucket Dredge Walk - Gillespies Beach

Bucket Dredge Walk

Gillespies Beach

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!


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1.6 km return | 30 minutes return

This rusting hulk was a Gargantuan machine. And in typical human fashion, when it no longer served its purpose, it was just discarded on site. Makes for an interesting walk today.


At the northern end of Fox township turn into Cook Flat Road. Continue past the Lake Matheson turnoff, take the sharp right hander and pass the Peak View Lookout.

From here and for the next 12 km to the coast the road is narrow, winding and unsealed. Not suited to larger campervans. All walks start from the road end carpark where there are toilets and a campground.


The grassy track cuts through gorse with occasional feral sheep grazing the track edges. A short loop encircles the remains.

European History

From 1932 to 1945, renewed optimism convinced investors to move a bucket dredge onto the site of the old workings. Timber was hewn on site and the metal brought down the Cook River, around the point and then transported on horse-drawn wagons. Power was derived from a hydro-electric plant with the head at Lake Gault.

The sands contained low levels of the uranium, but too low to be of economic use. As close as New Zealand has got to being non-nuclear free - if you discount the odd sanctioned visit from US Naval ships.


Feature Value Info


South IslandWest CoastFox Glacier


  • Walking
  • Free


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DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner