Ben Howe
music, travel, video, photo and blog etc
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Travel, videos and music written, filmed and photographed by Ben Howe.

Visiting Abandoned Houses, New Zealand

When travelling around the back roads of New Zealand you will often see abandoned old villas and farmhouses. In various states of disrepair, they have been left to the elements. Slowly crumbling, trees growing through the middle, returning the property to the elements. Sometimes sheltering livestock, sometimes hay barns; usually they just sit there empty and falling apart.  

Who lived there? Where did they go? What did they leave behind? A bit spooky. Strangely compelling. 

Below are a few photos of abandoned houses that were taken a few years ago. Some of the houses might not still be standing. There are many more houses such as these waiting to be discovered. 

Between Nelson and Buller, South Island, New Zealand

The above and main photo is a farmhouse visible just off the main road between Nelson and Buller. It looks to have been a significant house of some sort and now just shelters sheep

Buller region, South Island, New Zealand

This house (above) is also in the Buller region at the top of the South Island. Not very visible from the road. Used to store hay and surrounded by falling down sheds and fences.

Near lake Wanaka, South Island, New Zealand

Near lake Wanaka, South Island, New Zealand

The two photos above are of a small cottage on the road between Wanaka and the Haast Pass in the far south of New Zealand. This place has views over the northern end of Lake Wanaka.

West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

The three photographs above were taken on the lower West Coast of the South Island, on the main road south of Fox and Franz Joseph glaciers. Tucked among some trees were several abandoned houses and sheds, including the above bath filled with water some blood red substance. 

Websites of Abandoned Places in New Zealand

One of the best websites cataloging abandoned houses in New Zealand is Forgotten NZ. As they write, the site is  "for all the forgotten, abandoned, run down and decaying places that many people pass by without a thought. In time nature starts to claim them back, and often they fall victim to vandalism and graffiti in their own beautiful way.

Forgotten NZ doesn't have a lot of text with the pictures, and the exact locations of the buildings are kept hidden, but there are good photos and interesting explorations. The website hasn't been updated recently and the last update at time of writing was May 2016. As their disclaimer warns - the houses are people's private property so don't visit without permission. 

Urbex New Zealand also catalogs abandoned and derelict places of Australasia, particularly around New Zealand. Their website is more of the sneak in/break in and photograph of film places you aren't supposed to go. These include old theatres such as the St James in Auckland, or institutions like Lake Alice.

Over on their Youtube Channel they have quite a few interesting videos, including the impressive one below where the explore the abandoned Christchurch Catholic Cathedral, following the earthquake there. This was shot in 2015 before it was demolished. 

Finally there is an interesting summary of abandoned places around New Zealand in the Urban Ghost Media website.