Phoenix Mill Water Wheel
After several years of planning, delays and fundraising drives, physical work on a project to restore the Phoenix Mill Water Wheel at its original site is now almost complete. The 10m diameter water wheel which is listed as category two with Heritage New Zealand, and was installed at the site of the Phoenix Flour Mill in 1878. The wheel was used to power the mill, in Old Mill Rd, before the building was removed in 1905.
The Otago Community Trust approved a $22,000 grant for the final stage of the restoration project last year. Phoenix Mill Restoration Trust spokesperson Carol Berry outlines that this final stage will include the development of paths, bridge restoration, viewing decks, information signs, car parking and the beautification of the immediate area. The site of the Phoenix Flour Mill, with its 34 foot breastshot waterwheel, will stand as a reminder of the importance of flour milling in nineteenth century Oamaru, it has great historical and archaeological significance to North Otago.
“It’s an important symbol of our history. We want to ensure everything is in place when we open it to the public. We are committed to taking our time and getting it right" said Berry.
Otago Community Trust congratulates the hard-working team of volunteers who have worked tirelessly on this project. This long campaign of restoration will reap dividends when completed as an informative and educational community attraction.