Tuesday 7 March 2023

My Question Answered

Last Friday 3/3/23 I flew down to Matamata and while flying along the Western shore of the Firth of Thames I photo'd a feature just North of Whakatiwai.  I did not know what it was so I asked the question in my post.

My mate Peter came up with the earliest explanation of what it was - he played there as a kid (around 70 years ago!) and he said it was the Kaiaua Stone Mining quarry that operated there since the 1950s.  In his day he said there was an old ship hulk there that was the remains of the Guy C Cross that was sunk there for a breakwater.  Andrew contacted me and thought that the area was an old Stevensons quarry and advised that it is now fenced off  with stern Private Property signs.  Then Ray advised that the hulk of the ship you can see in the photo is the remains of the HMNZS Hinau which was an inshore patrol vessel that was built by the Whangarei Engineering and Construction Company and was commissioned in 1985.  (Google Earth also refers to this).  Wikipedia states that it was decommissioned in 2007 so I guess it was placed on top of the Guy C Cross to reinforce the breakwater.

In the photo above you can see what is probably a fishing vessel on the "port" and you can also see that there is a boat launching ramp.  (Click to enlarge the photo).  This would be valuable on this coast which often has a dense growth of mangroves just off shore.

Isn't amazing what you can get from just one photo?  Thanks for your help guys.


  1. Interesting to read about what this was but it strikes me as a little unusual to have a stone quarry at sea-level? Where was the quarry?

  2. Quarry is probably the wrong word. From the 50's it was an open pit to mine shingle deposited from the Firth of Thames. The actual deposits extend some distance inalnd.. It was a great playground back then!