Clinton Houses

There was no actual plan to visit Clinton, it just sort of happened. After a massive fail in Invercargill, we happened to be driving through and randomly decided to stop off to stretch our legs a bit. We didn’t know it at the time, but true to its description the place was a veritable ghost town. Even the classic rock tunes blasting in the mini-bus didn’t stir any life in the place. It took all of two and a half minutes to drive around the entire town and in that time we located a nice abandoned-looking row of houses. They looked a bit shit, but we figured they’d do just nicely while we took a break from driving.

Finding the front door of the first house was a bit of a challenge, because it didn’t seem to have one. We thought that was a bit odd, but in hindsight, why waste money on a front door when you have a well-functioning back door. Seems perfectly logical when you think about it. Anyway, once we were inside we quickly discovered that the place was a right shit-hole. It would have been great the previous night when we’d had to kip in the mini bus (which was a lot more uncomfortable than it sounds) since it had several beds inside, a bathtub and a tin of chunky soup that we could have shared, but as far as explores go it was pretty desperate…

For the full report and set of photographs, visit the page here: Clinton Houses

Posted in Home Page | Comments Off on Clinton Houses

Kiwi Bacon Ltd.

With the turn of a new month, we decided it was time for a new exploring trip. This time, though, we wanted to hit New Zealand’s South Island and see what treats it had in store for us. So, after a very late departure from Dunedin, we set off in the direction of Milton. There’s nothing much in Milton these days, as the history above hinted, but two things on the internet did capture our attention: an old bacon factory. Having never been inside a dedicated bacon factory before, it seemed like a potentially interesting explore. Besides, aside from Vegans, Veggies, Pesco-vegeterians, Pollo-Vegetarians, Flexitarians, Cannibal-vegetarians, Lacto-ovo vegetarians, Fruitarians, Raw/Living Foodists, Muslims, some Hindus and Jewish folk, who doesn’t like a bit of bacon?

We rolled into Milton in the dead of night, in a very large and conspicuous minibus. We had requested something smaller, like a pigup truck, but they didn’t have any left apparently. The bus was a bit excessive for the three of us, but the upside was that it was roomy and ours for free for a few days. Fortunately, given the size of the vehicle, Milton was exactly like a ghost town, with no cars on the roads or pedestrians on the footpaths, so our bus didn’t attract too much attention. The only life in the small town seemed to be two guys outside the wool mill having a smoke, and a barking dog somewhere in a garden behind us…

For the full report and set of photographs, visit the page here: Kiwi Bacon Ltd. 

Posted in Home Page | Comments Off on Kiwi Bacon Ltd.

Gregg and Co. Chicory Kiln

There isn’t much to say about this report, it wasn’t anything incredibly spectacular or anything. Basically, following our success in Milton with the Kiwi Bacon factory, we happened to find ourselves over on the island of Inch Clutha (which is certainly a weird place – effectively an island within an island) the next day, searching for an old kiln. Despite several protests about wasting time with this explore, Nillskill was having none of it, so that’s how we ended up driving up a very small road towards the very top of the island where, on the map, there was something that looked suspiciously like a fucked building concealed in the bushes.

We only managed to get so far up the road, though, before we were halted by a flooded dirt track. This meant that from this point we had to ditch the mini bus and cover the next kilometre or so on foot, because we didn’t want to risk getting our vehicle stuck given that it had to be in Christchurch the following day. Admittedly, at this stage we were thinking of sitting this one out and waiting with the bus. However, in the end, despite the lack of motivation, we decided we’d come this far so might as well go take a look. If anything, at least it would be an opportunity to stretch our legs. Perhaps some of Nillskill’s optimism that this was going to be the best explore of the year was rubbing off after all…

For the full report and set of photographs, visit the page here: Gregg and Co. Chicory Kiln

Posted in Home Page | Comments Off on Gregg and Co. Chicory Kiln

Audio Nightclub

With a couple of hours to kill before we were due to have a WildBoyz gathering, we decided to have a quick drive over to Darlington to check out a site we’ve been keeping an eye on. Unfortunately, that place was still sealed up tight so it’s still on our to-do list. However, as a result of that failure we did discover that an old nightclub that seems to have been abandoned for as long as any of us can remember was accessible. We weren’t expecting to get inside either, since from the street outside it gives the impression that it’s impregnable. Despite all appearances, though, we did in fact manage to get inside.

As far as derelict nightclubs go, this one wasn’t bad. There was still a fair bit of stuff left over, and the building wasn’t completely trashed either. Clearly the local chavs think this one is sealed too. Anyway, we found ourselves on the first floor of the building to begin with, inside a weird room that feels as though the designer managed to get a massive discount on purple furniture at IKEA one afternoon…

For the full report and set of photographs, visit the page here: Audio Nightclub

Posted in Home Page | Comments Off on Audio Nightclub

Palmer Head Plotting and Wireless Rooms

It was almost time to leave Wellington and head off in search of more abandoned places elsewhere in New Zealand, but as we had a little bit of time left on the last evening we set out to get one final explore done. Thanks to a young wizard who goes by the name Zort, we’d received word of some old plotting rooms deep inside a hillside somewhere on the Miramar Peninsula and they sounded particularly interesting. A good old historic underground explore would be a perfect way to end the trip.

We drove as close to the site as was possible, but had to ditch the car and walk the rest of the way. So, armed with our cameras and torches, we entered the bush. For the most part, we were walking blindly, not quite sure exactly where the tunnel entrance would be. But it was good fun and we spotted a fair few wētā along the way. In the end, we actually came across the way into the underground rooms a lot quicker than we’d expected. For once there was a minimal amount of fannying around, so everything went smoothly much like a well-oiled machine…

For the full report and set of photographs, visit the page here: Palmer Head Plotting and Wireless Rooms

Posted in Home Page | Comments Off on Palmer Head Plotting and Wireless Rooms

Bridge Lodge

Having had a bit of a mooch around New Plymouth, we decided to head back down to Wellington. The journey north had resulted the near-destruction of the car’s CV joint, meaning every single corner we turned caused a heavy clunking sound. So, driving extra carefully, and only forwards (as much as this was possible), we had to limp our way back down the highway with our fingers crossed, hoping the joint wouldn’t snap and leave us stranded in the middle of Middle Earth. After all, there are all those orks, uruk-hai and Nazgul lurking in the bushes. And yet, even with such dangers surrounding us, travelling anywhere without regular exploring breaks is, as we all know, incredibly boring. Therefore, we decided to make a quick stop at an old holiday camp which can only be likened to a 1950s version of Butlin’s.

Accessing the site wasn’t particularly difficult, given that most of the neighbouring houses and buildings are also abandoned because of the highway development that is now very close to reaching these properties. If anything, with the exception of us of course, the whole area seemed completely devoid of people. Instead, it was one of those places where nature has been left to take control…

For the full report and set of photographs, visit the page here: Bridge Lodge

Posted in Home Page | Comments Off on Bridge Lodge

Barrett Street Nurse’s Home

As indicated in our last report, we’d already spent much time trying to get inside the old nurses’ home and, as far as we could tell, it seemed pretty inaccessible. Nevertheless, after having something of a group ‘lightbulb moment’, we decided to have one last crack and check out a part of the building we’d previously neglected to thoroughly examine. It’s a good job we did have a look there too, because that ended up being our way inside this incredibly historic building.

Once inside, it was quickly very obvious that the place was almost completely stripped. Admittedly, this was a little disappointing, but, as we would soon discover, the building had much more to offer in the way of aesthetic features. It didn’t take us long, then, to realise that this building was much different to the rest of the hospital we’d already wandered around. Rather than adhering to a traditional medical-style design, this place was heavily cladded in dark brown wood. The floors, too, weren’t your average concrete base, or plywood; there were solid hard wood boards covering them. The place was fantastic, especially with the lingering smell of the wood in the air, which was a bit like the mouth-watering aroma you get when you bake a joint of ham. Are we all hungry now?…

For the full report and set of photographs, visit the page here: Barrett Street Nurse’s Home

Posted in Home Page | Comments Off on Barrett Street Nurse’s Home

Barrett Street Hospital

Our journey from Midhurst continued up to New Plymouth, where we decided to check out the historic Barrett Street Hospital. It took hours to get there, but bangin’ tunes and beer kept us going. When we finally arrived, the sun was shining and the temperature was twenty degrees, so things were looking good. It was time to get the pasty guns out and set up some tripods and cameras! Looking at the building from the outside, it looked as though it was going to be a right doddle getting inside. We were feeling confident.

Several hours later, however, and we were still trying to find a way inside. If anything, we can say we were persistent… In the time we’d been there, we’d already bumped into a group of New Zealand’s equivalent of inbred chavs, two ladies (former nurses) who wanted to gain access to the old nurse’s home and a random guy who was checking out the local attractions as he’d just moved to the area. Perhaps we were a little too confident when we boldly told them, “we’ll find a way inside”, despite the metal sheeting that was covering every possible way of getting into the hospital. In the end, though, we did in fact manage to gain access to the main hospital, after failing miserably to get into the nurse’s site. Access was incredibly innovative and a wee bit ballsy to say the least. But desperate times call for desperate measures…

For the rest of the report and the photographs, take a look here: Barrett Street Hospital

Posted in Home Page | Comments Off on Barrett Street Hospital

Midhurst Car Graveyard

Once again we find ourselves back in New Zealand, touring the country in search of abandonedness and beer (we find both go particularly well together). This time, to begin our 2017 trip through Middle Earth, we thought we’d have a bit of a mooch around the north island and visit a few sites we never managed to cover last time we were here. The first of these, after a rough night kipping inside an abandoned house that resulted in getting caught by a very angry neighbour early the next morning (how she got past the bolted door is beyond us), was the Midhurst car graveyard.

By all accounts, this site looks kind of semi-live because new cars have been added to it since the last time we were here (two years ago); however, once again there were no people around to indicate that it is live, and there are no signs to suggest any of the cars are for sale either. In addition, the old General Store is looking even worse for wear these days, with its original white paint slowly flaking off and weeds growing in the forecourt…

For the rest of the report and the photographs, take a look at the full gallery here: Midhurst Car Graveyard

Posted in Home Page | Comments Off on Midhurst Car Graveyard

St. Peter’s Mortuary

It was three minutes before midnight, and we were racing down a brightly lit corridor. At the end there was a large, heavy, blast door, and we were trying to reach it. A volley of red laser beams followed us, ricocheting off the walls as we legged it. “Halt, stay where you are”, someone yelled. Not likely I thought, as I risked taking a quick glance behind me to discover that it had come from a security guard dressed entirely in white armour. There were at least eleven of them in total, all firing their blasters in our general direction. Luckily for us, though, the force was with us, or they were incredibly bad shots; either way, all of them missed us. We’d been trying to find the Millennium Falcon in Pinewood Studeos, but secca had discovered us. So now the chase was on.

At the blast door, DRZ_Explorer whipped out his 1250 lumen Olight SR95S UT Intimidator which, at the push of a button, produced a long white vertical laser beam – a bit like a sword. The door was locked, so DRZ_Explorer decided to improvise. He thrust his torch into the door and set about tearing a hole in it. The rest of us watched, ducking occasionally as flashes of red erupted above us. Amazingly, even though we were motionless now, the guys in the white armour continued to miss us. It was a bloody good job too, because I’m almost certain they were breaking one or two health and safety rules. Imagine if they’d actually hit us with one of those laser beams!…

For the rest of the report and the photographs, take a look at the full gallery here: St. Peter’s Mortuary

Posted in Home Page | Comments Off on St. Peter’s Mortuary