In 1885-1886, some 30 schools of mines were formed to provide practical instruction to goldminers working in the quartz fields.
Opened in 1886, the Thames school was the largest and one of the longest surviving. Later buildings included the 1888 experimental works, where prospectors’ ores were crushed and tested. After the near exhaustion of the Thames goldfield, the school broadened its curriculum, including electricity, engineering, agriculture, pharmacy and other subjects. After the school closed in 1954, the mineralogical museum, founded in 1900 and one of Australasia’s most significant, remained open to the public.
11am to 3pm, daily January - March
11am to 3pm, Wednesday - Sunday, April - December
10am to 4pm during school holidays:
Closed all statutory holidays except Waitangi Day