Planet Todd

Todd Johnston’s planet is an intriguing place. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as The Blues Brothers preside over a bevy of FHM beauties. Todd’s informal photo opportunity with the Kilbirnie Police is proudly pasted up in the corner. Down the destroyed hallway, a papier mâché beast guards the toilets, where supplicants pay daily homage to Belushi and Jack Daniels.

Sterile Utility

In a sense every hospital is a sterile and utilitarian place. But the heartwarming efforts of staff to create a welcoming and warm environment for children and their parents are still very much evident in this now-closed hospital. It must be said that the discarded x-rays – which we could see from the outside prominently stuck to windows on the stairwell – were incongruently grim.

Tracey Basher

We’ve never met former Relieving Secretarial / Support Officer Tracey Basher. But thought if we were her it would be intriguing to see what had become of our past workplace at a former “lunatic asylum”, which is now a place in which an interior waterfall nurses ferns and kawakawa.

A Lush Apocalypse

We take a walk through offices at a former “lunatic asylum”. Greenery is steadily reclaiming the site, but hasn’t yet reached a prurient temple to the sexualised female form we were surprised to find in one office that had been repurposed into a home. It didn’t even matter that tripping a security alarm curtailed our fun.

Morbid Curiosity

This morgue in New Zealand has been abandoned since 1998 when the psychiatric hospital it served was closed in a shift away from institutionalisation to community-based care. Due to large amounts of copper spouting remaining in its buildings, as well as asbestos insulation, it is still guarded 24/7.

Come Again

This workshop space is part of a former psychiatric hospital which once housed patients with psychotic illnesses, the senile and alcoholics. Opened in 1887, it was at one time New Zealand’s largest hospital, but was closed down by 1977 having been declared unfit and uneconomical. Rather than being demolished, many buildings were repurposed, albeit unrefurbished and in various states of dilapidation. A splendid matchbox collection, a suite of vintage bicycles, and a couple of wooden giraffe mascots for a business recycling zoological animal excrement as fertiliser were delightful finds until an active security alarm ended our explorations. Suffice to say, we won’t “come again”.

 

I See You

This 17-hectare hospital site features nine buildings including a three-storey main hospital, maternity ward, maintenance and laundry. It was closed in 2006 when it was forecast $20 million of upgrades would be required over the next two decades to meet minimum legal and operational requirements. New hospital facilities constructed nextdoor have encountered their own issues, with $845,000 in earthquake strengthening completed in 2019 with more to come following.

An interesting entry to this main building revealed the fate of the Community Health Services library, unrealised architectural plans, a post-apocalyptic maintenance space adorned with menacing messages left by prior intruders – one of whom urged us to DIE – and altogether TMI about infectious skin diseases. This is Part Three of a three-part series. Part OnePart Two.

Pooh Corner

This 17-hectare hospital site features nine buildings including a three-storey main hospital, maternity ward, maintenance and laundry. It was closed in 2006 when it was forecast $20 million of upgrades would be required over the next two decades to meet minimum legal and operational requirements. New hospital facilities constructed nextdoor have encountered their own issues, with $845,000 in earthquake strengthening completed in 2019 with more to come following.

This former children’s ward with its heart-warmingly cheerful Winnie The Pooh murals appears to have been temporarily repurposed as a repository for books donated to charity. It must have been a large enterprise judging by the amount of rooms involved, each dedicated to some area of the Dewey Decimal System. This is Part Two of a three-part series. Part OnePart Three.

To Serve You Better Through Science

This 17-hectare hospital site features nine buildings including a three-storey main hospital, maternity ward, maintenance and laundry. It was closed in 2006 when it was forecast $20 million of upgrades would be required over the next two decades to meet minimum legal and operational requirements. New hospital facilities constructed nextdoor have encountered their own issues, with $845,000 in earthquake strengthening completed in 2019 with more to come following.

These laundry and maintenance spaces were quirky spaces to explore, from the brightness of large glass-ceilinged spaces down to the darkness of subterranean utility tunnels. This is Part One of a three-part series. Part TwoPart Three.

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.