Remote Waiuta is one of the West Coast's most famous ghost towns. Spread over a plateau, this once-burgeoning gold town was swiftly abandoned after the mineshaft collapsed in 1951. Waiuta grew quickly after a gold discovery in 1905 but these days the forest-shrouded settlement is reduced to bits of rusting machinery, an overgrown swimming pool, stranded brick chimneys, fenced-off mine shafts and the odd intact building, including the old hospital (now a lodge).

From the signposted turn-off on SH7, 23km south of Reefton, it's another 17km to Waiuta, the last half of which is unsealed, winding and narrow in places but easy enough in a 2WD (keep your headlights on). Ask at Reefton's i-SITE for information and maps or consult the DOC website.