Silence now hangs over the extensive remains of what was once one of New Zealand’s most productive coal mines.
Scene of the infamous Brunner Mine disaster over 100 years ago when 65 lives were lost, today the site houses ruins of coal mining and coke making structures, including rare beehive ovens.
The north and south parts of the site are linked by an impressive 1876 suspension bridge, with interpretative panels explaining the ruins and remains.
The bridge defines and differentiates the Brunner site and helps to trigger visitors to stop and explore. It also provides an essential link between parts of the site on opposite banks of the river and a great viewpoint to help with interpretation. Added to this, coal trains laden with Paparoa coal still pass through several times daily.
The area is important for its social history, in particular its long and vigorous history of trade unionism.
The Brunner Bridge is clearly visible from the road. It never closes and can be accessed from either side via State Highway 7 and Taylorville-Blackball Road, and by rail via Brunner Station.