Our Story: The history of the Waterworks

The Waterworks, Coromandel, NZ The Waterworks, originally named Waiau Waterworks, was developed by Chris Oglivie on land that once was his father’s farm.

Work commenced in 1989 by the Oglivie family, planting gardens from scratch, collecting cuttings from plants that locals had successfully grown over the years.

An old miner’s cottage was brought all the way from Thames for the entrance building. Chris got busy making water powered gadgets and in November 1993 Waiau Waterworks opened to the public.

As the gardens matured they provided protection for the naturally growing native foliage and these plants are again prevalent as you walk around the Waterworks.

The park also provided Chris’s partner Kay an outlet for her pottery work; many of the sculptures that you’ll see at the Waterworks are Kay’s creations.

The Waterworks is now one of the top visitor attractions in The Coromandel with visitor numbers reaching over 30,000 per year.

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Thank you very much Water wunderful place (hee hee). Very innovative and enterprising, a real joy will be back again in the summer with the kids. It's a really wonderful place to forget your age, I've turned 41 today but felt like a 14 yr old. Lisa Beales..

Comments from our visitor book


April – October:

10.00am to 4.00pm

November – March:

10.00am to 6.00pm

Our Latest News

10 DEC

The team at The Waterworks invites you, your family and friends to our annual Summer Kick Off $5.00 entry.

Check us out on YouTube!