Paradise Mine

Queenstown and Lakes District

Abandoned Paradise

This is an old abandoned Scheelite mine located past some locked gates overlooking the braided Dart river. It is controlled by the Paradise Trust and is open to the public to have a look around. There are open mines and everyone should take care when they are walking around. This is not really the place you would go to have a nice stroll or see great views. Only people hungry for history should bother going here.


The area is approximately 20 kilometers north of Glenorchy. The mine site is at the northern end of Mount Alfred, bordering the Dart River. Access is by a short side road off the Paradise-Dart Track access road. Check the map location before you go.

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Dark holes into the earth

The sun was setting and a large fence stood in my way, but I had driven all this way. Not sure if I was even in the right place. I chose to enter the forest anyway. The dark was looming and the sky turned to rain. Lucky for me I had a dry jacket, but all the same. I pulled out my GPS as I had walked the wrong way, and made the gloomy trek to the ruins that lay. An old fallen shed and paths of all directions, A placard and air compressor, an entrance to a dark world. The only thing that stopped me from entering was a voice in my head that told of greater tales. I left that poor site, with hopes of return. For it will be a few years before I venture here some more. Stu

The Paradise mine was developed in 1915 after a man named Jack Aitken discovered the scheelite reef. It was a beautiful spot and aptly named. Dug deep into the earth at multiple levels, scheelite itself was a mineral that changed in value a heap in the 1900's. So the mine went through various booms, 1915-1921, then in 1941-1946 (The government owned the mine). Then it was a tourist destination in the late 1940's. The mine was then again in action on and off for the Korean War in the 1950's.

What still lies beneath? - Stu