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In the middle of what literally feels like nowhere, (for reference somewhere off State Highway 30 near Benneydale sort of in the centre of New Zealand's north island) is the site of New Zealand's only remaining native-timber sawmill. Having ceased business in 1996, it has been left the same as it was on the day it closed. The workers' cottages, the vehicles and piles of timber remain where they were left, untouched by anything except the weather for over twenty years.
Today, sheep are free to graze around the old tyres, rusting tools and decaying buildings. Access is also allowed by the public with permission from the land owner, Ged. Fortunately as we stumbled across this fascinating, and somewhat forlorn, site - Ged was driving the second car we flagged down to ask permission and we were allowed to enter.
There were mixed feelings as we walked around - excitement at such a spontaneous find, sadness to think of how this place had become so dilapidated and a creativity in imagining what it would have been like it its heyday.
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