At The Bottom
In 2014 on a Urbexcentral excursion in the hills- Gunner (as per usual), saw this tower as a challenge rather than an obstacle and couldn’t be talked out of free climbing it. We waited in trepidation at the bottom, as he proceeded to knock the bastard off.
This former rail tunnel has sat abandoned since 1900. It is now three-quarters buried by the earth, and half-flooded. Distinctive arrow imprints on the red and brown clay bricks indicate the presence of prison labourers in its construction. Prisoners serving terms with hard labour wore arrows on their uniforms to visually distinguish them from civilian workers, and they marked their handmade bricks with arrows, as a kind of self-portrait. Finding this tunnel was a team effort involving anecdotes from rail workers, hand-drawn maps of enthusiasts, and – finally – simply groping through thick vines in search of the source of faint sounds of trickling water. The entrances are completely obscured in dense overgrowth. The thrill of finding something so untouched for so long is indescribable.
Driving rural back roads in the Waitomo region, we came across several well-worn former abodes. Interestingly to us, many a collapsing farmhouse had a companion tree somewhat alleviating its loneliness, presumably planted by its former occupants.
Photography and Surrealism
We found this broken time capsule of creativity temporarily parked on the edge of a highway awaiting its inevitable and imminent collapse. A book on surrealist photography set the tone for the video edit.
Abandoned South Island tunnel
After hearing a rumor about a mysterious train tunnel in the South Island of New Zealand myself and DerelictNZ went out to investigate.
Sadly our first attempt was a bit of a fail after spending a whole afternoon trying to find it but after some more research urbexcentral returned and this time success!
The tunnel was fully bored and constructed in the early 1940’s however it was given up on after some of the walls started breaching. The damage inside the tunnel is pretty substantial and it felt pretty unsafe to lurk through, from the crazy angles and curvature in the tunnel I suspect the kaikoura earthquake in 2016 played a part in the damage.
Above The Glass
A couple of old chimneys tower over an abandoned glass factory near the village of Krushevo, in the municipality of Sevlievo, in Gabrovo Province, northern central Bulgaria. Gunner thanks his generous and kind hosts, Nicola Miller and Jonathan Taylor.
Located in a sleepy town that has had its fair share of earthquakes lies this little aquarium on the wharf, abandoned and closed down due to earthquake damage. In operation, it seems the aquarium was well loved and although small was full of interactive activities for children who visited.
Due to an injury this explore posed a little bit of a challenge to UC but thanks to fellow explorer DerelictNZ we were able to successfully explore this place and enjoy its wonder; such as an inflatable shark, not quite the infamous Melbourne shark but close enough.
Late last year we explored the abandoned waterpark “Ho Thuy Tien” near Hue, Vietnam. This place has been fairly well documented by UE and backpackers before, so to mix things up a bit we decided to predominately explore the park via bicycle- and we’re talking about the old school one speed bicycle variety with a basket on the handle bars.
It took 30-40 minutes in the heat & humidity to bike there from Hue city, courtesy of Google Maps. At the main gate we were surprisingly waved through by a guard. We were expecting a “fee” like all other locals and visitors alike. Perhaps he felt because we’d biked all the way out there we deserved the “free” entry- what ever the case it was good karma. Locals we spoke to later just could not believe we’d been given “free” entry.
Closed a decade ago- probably because of the high priced tickets and lack of attractions- the park has over the years become a hang out for local youth, urban explorers, backpackers, and on weekends (in this case) a bus load of students. Apart from getting the neck slit gesture after outstaying our welcome at some local lads bbq on top of the waterslide section- it was a safe and surreal experience- and then we had to bike all the way back to town…
Abandoned Lower North Island Hospital
This hospital is one of the most intact abandoned hospitals left in New Zealand. Closed in 2007 and subsequently purchased privately, this hospital has been left abandoned and untouched.
Inside the hospital it’s quite amazing how much is left, from X-ray machines to a fully functioning theater its as if the hospital could open again at any minute although left abandoned 10 years ago.
We first visited this hospital in 2012 and now once again in 2017, not much has changed but it remains one of Urbex Central’s favourite explores in the North Island of New Zealand.
“Black Palace” (Damnak Sla Khmao) was a little summer palace of King Sihanouk, abandoned sometime in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s. It’s located on Bokor Hill Station in southern Cambodia. The “Palace” itself is not on a grand scale, but the overall spectacular location and many outer buildings must have been fairly impressive in its day.
The hill station was built as a resort by colonial French settlers as an escape from the heat, humidity and general insalubrity of Phnom Penh. Nine hundred lives were lost in the nine months during the construction of the resort in this remote mountain location.
The centrepiece of the resort was the grand Bokor Palace Hotel (which has never been a casino) inaugurated in 1925. See previous video- “Casino Rouge”. It was used as the location for the final showdown of the excellent Matt Dillon 2002 movie, “City Of Ghosts”.
Bokor Hill was abandoned first by the French in late 1940s, during the First Indochina War, because of local insurrections guided by the Khmer Issarak. It was only in 1962, for the reopening of the “Cité du Bokor”, that a casino was established in the new hotels near the lake, (Hotels Sangkum and Kiri). Some buildings were added at this time: an annex for the palace, the mayor’s office and a strange mushroomed concrete parasol.
The Bokor mountain was abandoned again in 1972, as Khmer Rouge took over the area. During the Vietnamese invasion in 1979, Khmer Rouge entrenched themselves and held on tightly for months. In the 1990s Bokor Hill was still one of the last strongholds of Khmer Rouge.
Abandoned Great Wall, China.
The great wall in China, one of the great wonders of the world.
Although seen as a tourist destination that is well kept and maintained by the Chinese government, the great wall spans for 8,851.8 kilometers. Of this 8000 Kilometers much of the great wall has fallen into disrepair and is subsequently abandoned and falling apart.
It takes about two hours of walking past the vast amounts of tourists before you get to the abandoned and what is arguably most representative version of the huge spanning great wall, we hope you enjoy the shots!
Abandoned Cement Works, South Island, New Zealand.
Having had this closed down and dilapidated cement works on the radar for a couple of years, the urbexcentral crew alongside wildboyzue (UK) finally got to take a visit!
As we drove the long drive to this location, we had mixed feelings of defeat and curiosity from earlier exploration attempts but we were determined to finally do something epic this road trip.
Now, with our target in sight we quickly worked out the best way to photograph the place and we were soon basking in an oasis of abandonment, from coming across remnants of a past busy workplace, to huge machinery and infrastructure, including a decommissioned coal run power plant!
Abandoned Cook House
We came across this dilapidated, soon to be demolished house recently after having it on our radar for quite some. After a shall we say, tight crawl we found ourselves surrounded in forgotten belongings and hoardings.
As we crept through the house we came across many memories of the old house owners past and it was quite sad to think that most of the amazing stuff in this place would soon be in the landfill, what a waste!
Abandoned Mini Golf In New Zealand!
On our recent trip down in the South Island of New Zealand we found ourselves accidentally stumbling across this soon to be demolished abandoned mini golf course in Christchurch, New Zealand.
As we walked through it, it felt barely abandoned and seemingly such a waste; it must have been a pretty cool course once upon a time, it is soon to be bowled over to make way for a redevelopment, most probably housing.
This woolen mill in the South Island of New Zealand had been through troubled times, with it being saved from closure in 2012 until once again facing uncertainty in early 2016 when the company running the business finally went into receivership.
The machines, wool and remnants of the workers have lain dormant since, like everyone just up and left one day!
Our visit here was along route on our South Island urbex trip, never expecting such an intact woolen mill to be just sitting there decaying and forgotten. Subsequently our explore into the mill began cautiously and it appeared the further we ventured into the mill, the more it seemed likely we might suddenly bump into an angry ex worker of the mill (who may not have shared the same passion as we do for abandoned photography) any moment! Enjoy the photographs!
Abandoned Wellington Medical Centre
This medical centre located in Wellington, New Zealand suffered an extensive fire recently under suspicious circumstances, everything was still left here like the day of the fire. Inside it felt like the longer we stayed to document the place, the more odd medical supplies we found – needles, vaginal speculums and feces pots.
Abandoned Forensic Lab, Lunatic Asylum, North Island, New Zealand
This building was originally the forensic’s unit of an abandoned lunatic asylum which closed for good in 2007.
The decay and mold were immense in this building, the place is falling apart. Nature has began taking over this place and it almost seems like there is more vegetation than structure left.
Throughout its years of operation the asylum has had many accounts of violent patients, patient abuse and treatments used such as electric shock treatment.
Earthquake damaged pub square, Christchurch, New Zealand.
This hospitality square full of pubs, clubs and a real groovy music store in Christchurch was once a hub of entertainment. Since the 2011 earthquakes devastated the city this square has remained untouched and derelict while insurance claims are disputed.
Exploring the inside of the square I stumbled upon forgotten hipster clubs, lots of pigeon poop and endless amounts of decay and vandalism.
Abandoned Wellington Grandstand
This cricket grandstand and its surrounds, built in 1925 were originally built by prison labour and they were a popular recreational spot for colonial settlers.
Ninety one years later the grandstand has been declared ‘earthquake prone’ and has visible damage on its facade of earthquake damage. Due to it’s earthquake prone status the grandstand is closed to the public while assessment on its future continues, hopefully it can be preserved as it holds some of Wellington’s small amount of heritage.
Abandoned New Zealand Mini golf Park
Located in a tourist town in New Zealand, this mini golf and go kart racing amusement park closed down in 2013, upon reading the reviews it is fairly obvious what caused it to close down, something along the lines of ‘uneven golf course’ and ‘worst mini putt course ever’.
The tourist towns of New Zealand have a limited amount of attractions and which seem to often struggle and sometimes disappear, closing down shortly after they open. The thermal activity in this town probably didn’t help either, as I took photos I couldn’t help but notice the cracks and holes in the grounds surrounding the park which had occurred due to the thermal activity beneath.
Exploring the ruin of the French colonial era Bokor Casino Hotel in Cambodia recently. The Casino was fought over by the invading/liberating Vietnamese army and the murderous Khmer Rouge from 1979 onwards. Due to it’s strategic place and size on Bokor plateau it was invaluable to either side to gain an advantage over the other. In recent years it has been cleaned up and somewhat structurally improved- unfortunately removing most of its neglected charm, tragedy and history in the process.
Church : Time
Exploring the abandoned former French colonial era church on Bokor Mountain in Cambodia recently. In 1978 the Vietnamese invaded Cambodia, toppling the murderous Khmer Rouge in a matter of weeks. There was however a stalemate for a time on Bokor (and other locations) as the Vietnamese and the Khmer Rouge battled it out- fighting between the church and nearby casino. In recent years the church has had occasional use- it’s first in nearly four decades. “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen…”
West Coast ghost town
Once a thriving railway township, Rewanui was abandoned in 1985 when the railway branch was closed. The town was taken care of and preserved by its caretaker until in 1988 where a huge landslide following a flood destroyed most of the buildings and bridges that remained, tragically killing the sole occupant of the town.
After quite a long walk and a lot of searching through bush we found many remnants of the past still exist throughout the valley including old coal carts and mines.
Located in Wellington is this dilapidated and abandoned former art gallery, before it was an art gallery it was some sort of industrial building that used a crane system, what a unique gallery this would have been. There was a safe and some other old trinkets from the past, that made us wonder of it’s previous uses, we hope you enjoy the shots!
Not your usual urbex video, but exploring ruins nonetheless. This is the strange fusion temple complex of Banteay Prey Nokor in Cambodia that we visited late last year. Situated in countryside near the town of Kompong Cham, the original 11th century Mahayana Buddhist shrine has been added onto over the centuries and incorporated into a bewildering and sprawling complex of wat’s and stupa’s. Apart from a security guard and a couple of monks we had the place to ourselves. More to come from Cambodia soon…
New Zealand’s Island Fortress
Another victim of the earthquakes, this historic wartime island was once used as a quarantine station, Maori fortification and a defence against Russian attacks.
On arrival and after a short swim across to the island we navigated our way up the steep barbed wire bank. Once inside the fort we were met by a beautifully designed historic fort which included a labyrinth of tunnels with torpedo and mine stores. The two disappearing guns on the fort were completed in 1895 and were never actually used to fire a shot in their years as part of the island fortification.
We hope they can restore this unique part of New Zealand’s history once again for visitors to appreciate it.
This derelict and forgotten film set was never actually used for filming as the movie was mothballed after running out of money. The set still stands waiting for its film crew and producers to perhaps one day return.
Exploring this abandoned movie set in the middle of rural New Zealand countryside was quite the experience, as we wandered through the film set which was designed to look more like Jerusalem than New Zealand it felt like we were entering some kind of cartoon world. Everywhere we ventured was artificial and built by film set designers, from the walls and floors to the odd props and building materials that were left lying around and never used.
Built out of New Zealand native kauri wood in 1899 and the largest structure in New Zealand around in its time, this grand mansion is slated for demolition following extensive earthquake damage.
The mansion was built lavishly both inside and out for a Scottish immigrant Allan McLean, and its beauty is resounding even in its currently dilapidated state. McLean donated his mansion to women’s education upon his death, a worthy cause – we hope McLean’s can eventually be restored and not demolished.
Exploring one of Christchurch’s last grand mansions still standing brought emotions of amazement and sadness as we looked around its unique beauty and its so-far-decided future, demolition.
Built in 1916 and located in the heart of the town and next door to the town’s biggest attraction, this old hospital has sat abandoned since 2003.
There is a large amount of decay throughout the derelict hospital which used to treat patients with hydrotherapy, with water leaks and peeling wall paper at every corner.
The hospital is of great historic value to New Zealand and we hope it can eventually be restored to some other purpose.
Horrors of the elderly
This explore went unexpectedly smooth and what every urban explorer hopes for – easy entry, no interruptions and a location that was full of memories of the past which offered a small glimpse into what went on at this now abandoned rest home hospital for the elderly.
Soon into the explore, I came across scenes akin to a horror movie, grey hairs still sat next to the ‘saloon’ of the old rest home, wheelchairs and toilet seats everywhere and possession’s lying around – even a nurses dress hanging up, sitting idle exactly how they were the day the hospital was closed.
Sitting unused and idle for the last 14 years after closing in 2001 and sitting next to an active military base, this old polytech has been a joy to explore and take photos.
Throughout our many visits to this location over the years we have found ourselves discovering different classrooms and lecture theatres each time, this old polytech used to host courses in dental, engineering, telecommunications and radiation therapy.
Enjoy the photos, this derelict campus has recently been sold by the ministry of education and is about to be redeveloped.
Soon to be imploded
Soon to be imploded, this old Police station was built in 1972, it was the 11th tallest building in the city before the earthquakes.
Cautious in our approach and full of excitement and adrenline we found many interesting trinkets of the building’s history as a large police station, it was a miserable place for many throughout the years and seemingly in it’s demolition, due to the large amounts of asbestos removal.
Derelict Meat Killing Plant
This plant was closed in 2009 with a large amount of redundancies and has sat vacant ever since with attempts at re purposing the plant failing.
Inside this derelict meat works we found an array of old machinery and relics of a past industry and some incredible, massive old silver lined chillers that felt almost like entering another universe.
Inside an abandoned former catholic girls school/farm/’rehabilitation unit’ we visited in mid 2013. Founded by a French sisterhood in 1953 -“the girls who came into the care of the sisters often had problems that could not be resolved in their normal environment and needed the loving care of others to restore their sense of self-worth.” The first residents stayed at the ’13’-room Manor built by its previous owner; and over the years the Catholic order embarked on a building program that included a 25-girl dormitory, two-story working/training block, visitor accommodation and sports facility. The last building was an expanded convent for the growing number of sisters at the facility. At it’s peak there were apparently up to 50 nuns in the house, and at least 70 girls. The farm/school/borstal/convent finally closed down in the early 1980’s.
Hospital Down South
Standing proudly on top of the hill overlooking a lower South Island town, this once-grand hospital now sits decaying and derelict. Little positive future can be foreseeable aside from demolition for this location as the buildings were purpose built as a hospital and not a motel, there are simply too many buildings and grounds for the owners to know what to do with. The hospital-turned-backpackers was opened on 2 December 1872 and closed in 1998, much of the site including its operating theaters, x-ray, psychiatric and emergency departments have been abandoned since.