Ramsay Street, The Neighbours Film set

Join us on this explore of the old abandoned neighbours set film set situated in Melbourne, Australia.

We just so happened to find ourselves in Melbourne when we got lucky to find a way into the old set of the decommissioned tv show. It turns out there was plenty to see here as everything was pretty much left as is once filming had wrapped up, now awaiting a swift demolition, we hope you enjoy the pictures!

Know Your Biorhythms

This hut in Waiuta, near Reefton in New Zealand, is where gold miner and photographer Joseph Divis lived from 1930. Divis appeared as a subject in many of his photographs, setting a shutter time release and darting around into the frame. After a career-ending injury in the Blackwater mine in 1939, Divis was interned as an ‘enemy alien’ during World War Two, and his health further declined. When he returned to Waiuta at the end of 1943 he was dependent on crutches. When the Blackwater mine closed in 1951, Divis was one of few residents who chose to stay in what rapidly became a ghost town.

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.

Abandoned South Island tunnel, New Zealand, Urbex Central NZ

Abandoned South Island Tunnel

Abandoned Tunnel South Island New Zealand

Abandoned collapsing tunnel

 

Abandoned Aquarium

 

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.

 

 

Waterpark

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.

 

 

 

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 Cement works, South Island, New Zealand - Urbex Central

Abandoned Cement Works - Urbexcentral.com

Abandoned Cement Works - Urbexcentral

Abandoned Cement Works, New Zealand - urbexcentral

Abandoned Cement - Urbexcentral

Abandoned cement urbexcentral

Urbex Central, Abandoned Cement Works New Zealand.

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.

Abandoned Minigolf.

Abandoned Pirate Mini Golf koisk

Abandoned and Derelict Minigolf, New Zealand.

Abandoned Minigolf Course

Abandoned Pirate Ship, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Abandoned Pirate ship mini golf

Abandoned Mini Golf

 

 

 

The Mill

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 Woolen Mill, South Island derelict urbex central New Zealand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Wellington Medical Centre, NZ Abandoned Wellington Medical Centre, NZ
Abandoned Wellington Medical Centre, NZ Abandoned Wellington Medical Centre, NZ
Abandoned Wellington Medical Centre, NZ Abandoned Wellington Medical Centre, NZ Abandoned Wellington Medical Centre, NZ Abandoned Wellington Medical Centre, NZ Abandoned Wellington Medical Centre, NZ Abandoned Wellington Medical Centre, NZ
_DSC0006 _DSC0013 _DSC0023

_DSC0038 _DSC0037
_DSC0047 _DSC0053
_DSC0051_DSC0050
_DSC0055 _DSC0058

_DSC0151 _DSC0160 _DSC0161

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.

 

The Ghost Tower

GT1The Sathorn Unique (aka the Ghost Tower) is a 185 meter 49 story unfinished skyscaper in downtown Bangkok near the Chao Phraya river. The proposed luxury condominium tower was designed and developed by prominent architect and real estate developer Rangsan Torsuwan. By 1997 construction was estimated to be 80–90 percent complete when the Asian financial crisis hit. Bangkok’s real estate market collapsed, and the finance companies that had funded the project went bankrupt and were subsequently liquidated. Building construction projects across the city came to a halt and Bangkok was left with over 300 unfinished high-rise projects. However since then most of these buildings have been completed as the economy recovered- but the Sathorn Unique remains a ghost tower…GT2

There are numerous urban legends and superstitions regarding the Sathorn held by people in the nearby community and Bangkok in general. Some believe the building was doomed from the beginning as the land upon which it sits is a former graveyard. Others believe that due to the Sathorn Unique’s shadow falling over the neighboring Wat Yan Nawa, that this brings it bad luck, resulting in its failed completion. After almost two decades and no completion in sight, perhaps there is something to these superstitions after all.GT3

Over the years the Sathorn has become known a bit of an urban exploration mecca, so late last year while in Bangkok we thought we’d pay it a visit. Despite being officially off-limits to the public, access reportedly could be gained by finding your own way in- or bribing a security guard to let you in- we preferred the former. We found the building easily enough, you just have to look up. Unfortunately our timing couldn’t have been worse and was only out by a month or two, as the surrounding fence had been rebuilt and reinforced and certain security guards sacked- no one can enter now (unless your Spiderman) no matter what bribe is offered.GT5

This appears to have occurred due to a number of factors; the increased popularity of the tower, the number of photos, videos and articles popping up on line- and the death of a tourist. In December 2014 the body of a Swedish man was found hanging on the 43rd floor. The cause of death was determined to be suicide, though the news prompted discussion regarding the safety and security of the building. Then in September 2015, Sathorn Unique Co. made known they had filed criminal charges of trespassing against five people who had posted material on the Web, including a pair of tourists who had created a video of themselves freerunning on the tower. They said that this was done in order to set an example and deter people from climbing the building. They added that the number of people illegally entering the premises had risen sharply during the past year, following an increase in online exposure, with over a hundred people entering on some weekends.GT4

So at present the Ghost Tower seems to have been finally left for the ghosts to accommodate- but perhaps the future will offer opportunities for a return of the living…

 

Anatomy Class

The teacher in this Bulgarian classroom clearly wanted her/his students to fully know their surroundings and themselves. Anti-fascist partisan artwork was still on display well beyond the fall of communism from 1987, and about a decade later took on a state of suspended animation with the closure of this village school.

The Mansion

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.

 

 

 

Hospital springs

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.

North Korea in New Zealand

The information I had surrounding this location sounded almost mythological, an abandoned North Korean prison movie set in Queenstown?

Since access to the mountain had been closed for the last five years, I had to go in the hard way, straight up the sheer face of the mountain! A few cuts and bruises later navigating dense bush, deer and goat I finally reached the top.

What greeted me felt so out of place, an old North Korean prison surrounding by beautiful Queenstown scenery, Awesome!

North Korea Prison SetNorth Korea Prison Set
North Korea Prison SetNorth Korea Prison Set

North Korea Prison Set
North Korea Prison SetNorth Korea Prison SetNorth Korea Prison SetNorth Korea Prison Set

North Korea Prison Set

North Korea Prison Set

North Korea Prison SetNorth Korea Prison Set

The Old Marine Zoo

Marine land was a marine mammal park that opened in 1965 and closed in 2009 with some of the animals being relocated and some staying on until they could be rehomed.

It was once home to a number of species including Californian sea lions, leopard seals, penguins, bottlenose dolphins and otters.

Throughout it’s years the park played hosts to big crowds until its decline where the longtime manager of the park resigned in 2009 after allegations of falsifying the documents that allowed them to keep fur seal pups.

This explore was very heavy on the senses, a strong odour of fish and a panicked visit to the park due to an alarm and incoming security arriving. The zoo was once extremely secure for good reason, with 24/7 cctv to protect the animals as numerous break-ins had happened in the past including some vandals who fed a dolphin nails!

Enjoy the pictures.

Cathedral

Images of the exterior of Christchurch Cathedral from a couple of months ago. The Cathedral was badly damaged in the February 22nd 2011 earthquake (and other aftershocks) that devastated New Zealand’s third largest city. It’s a surreal experience, the centre around Cathedral Square is mostly unrecognizable, apart from the iconic Christchurch Cathedral.

The Anglican Cathedral was built between 1864 and 1904 in the centre of the city, surrounded by Cathedral Square. It became the cathedral seat of the Bishop of Christchurch in the New Zealand tikanga of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

Repeated earthquakes have damaged the building (mostly the spire) in the course of its history: in 1881, 1888, 1901, 1922, and September 2010. The February 2011 Christchurch earthquake destroyed the spire and part of the tower, and severely damaged the structure of the remaining building. The remainder of the tower was demolished in March 2012. The west wall suffered collapses in the June 2011 earthquake and the December 2011 quake due to a steel structure – intended to stabilize the rose window – pushing it in.

The Anglican Church has decided to demolish the building and replace it with a new structure – a decision which has become controversial in post-quake Christchurch. Various groups have opposed the Church’s intentions, with actions including taking a case to court. As of January 2015 the judgements have mostly been in favour of the Church, with one more judgement pending. No demolition has occurred since the removal of the tower in early 2012.

There has been opposition to demolition, with heritage groups including the UNESCO World Heritage Centre opposing the action. A local character, the Wizard of New Zealand, made protests calling for the cathedral to be saved. Kit Miyamoto, an American-based structural engineer and expert in earthquake rebuilding, inspected the cathedral after the September 2010 quake. He cited his experience in stating that restoring and strengthening of the building was both “feasible and affordable”.

In April 2012, a group of engineers from the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering launched a petition seeking support of 100 colleagues to stop the demolition. They claimed that legal action was also a possibility. In the same month the Restore Christchurch Cathedral Group was formed and sought signatures for a petition to save the cathedral.

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.

Inside the station we went straight for the roof, wondering what great views of the city we would get, as we walked up the stairways we contemplated the fact there was not much chance of escape if we were greeted by someone at the old station.
Once on the roof we were met by stunning vistas of the city and at one point, the sound of police sirens beneath us – luckily they were responding to another job and not revisiting their old haunt.
Down in the basement we found the cells and huge amounts of old graffiti from inmates, the cells seemed to go on forever like a labyrinth. One of the rooms we found reminded us of a morgue with lots of solid concrete tables and cctv cameras and tv above our heads, we never figured out what that room was.
We hope you enjoy viewing some of the last pictures taken of this place before it’s demolition implosion in the next few days.
Explored in collaboration with http://www.wildboyz-ue.com

The Farm

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.

The Holiday Inn

Abandoned and severely crippled by the earthquake this hotel had also played host to an arsonist over the years.

Cautiously venturing around the burnt ruins of this hotel you could smell and feel the wet carpets from when the fire was brought under control. We could hear the faint beeping of nearby smoke alarms and motion detectors for an alarm we thought could surely not work anymore due to the damage.

Further into our explore we finally found what we were searching for the pool, sauna, gym and main reception! Excitement flowed through us as we took our photos quickly, cautious of triggering any alarm. Once we had finished with the pool we entered the reception, an amazing space seemingly untouched with tourist pamphlets from 2011 still sitting there, one step further and we would finally set off the security alarm, piercing our ears letting us know it was probably time to go.

Abandoned Holiday InnAbandoned Holiday InnAbandoned Holiday Inn Tourist BrochuresAbandoned Holiday InnAbandoned Holiday InnAbandoned Holiday InnAbandoned Holiday InnAbandoned Holiday InnAbandoned Holiday InnAbandoned Holiday Inn Pool

Teachers College

This beautiful heritage building was once a teachers college and acted as an apartment block before it was badly damaged in the Christchurch earthquakes. There is a promise made to rebuild and restore the building but years on little progress has been made.

Walking inside with the floor creaking beneath us we cautiously stepped inside over rippled earthquake damaged flooring, greeted by breathtaking character of a once beautiful building.

 

.

Wellington’s Abandoned Chapel

It has been a long time since urbexcentral visited this beauty, a famous abandoned icon of our city.
While the rest of the buildings fall further into despair the chapel remains mainly untouched, preserved and safe from graffiti for now – let’s hope it stays that way.

 

Waikune Prison Part two

Abandoned since 1986 this derelict prison camp located in a remote area of the North Island in New Zealand barely resembles a prison. The prison is heavily decayed with surprisingly little vandalism and the prisons strange colour schemes were meant to help calm prisoners. Our road trip taking us to this prison began with a sunny 18 degrees, five hours later we were in snow, this place  had a very somber feeling to it.

With thanks to WildBoyzUE who joined Urbexcentral for this explore.

Power Station

This thermal power station was completed in 1972 and was decommissioned between 2001 and 2008, it’s chimney was once the tallest structure in New Zealand, it is now being demolished and in the final stages of demolition.

We began exploring this Power Station back in Easter where after trekking down in the darkness from the top of a hill we eventually reached a shoreline where we met a couple of angry seals who we had to dodge as they tried to attack us. Once we found our way in, avoiding light and the risk of areas with motion detectors we reached the main building, our eyes were greeted with a wonderland of ‘pipe-porn’ and steel. The first thing we knew we wanted to hit was the turbine room and to reach this we needed to scale some ladders through the maze of pipes and steel.

Upon reaching the turbine room we found a gigantic space full of yellow turbines, all fully lit up, the whole place echoed as you walked through it which made us feel on edge. After documenting the turbine room we advanced on to find the control room, from intel we had been given we attempted to enter through to the control room where we were met by locked doors, the control room was not to be seen that visit.

Included in this post are pictures months apart, the second series of pictures were pictures taken when the turbine room was mostly deconstructed but we finally found an intact control panel room :).

 

A Religious College

This old college was a religious secondary school built in a religious “commune” solely by volunteer labour missionaries in the 1950’s who worked for the church. The school has a huge American influence as you can tell by the pictures, it is huge! The amount of things left behind is also astonishing, what a waste!
The school was closed when church leaders accepted that mainstream schools offered “quality education” and the school has started to be demolished to either be converted to farmland or some other future usage.

Our explore here began by cautiously entering a construction zone, in the past we had been greeted by angry residents who live on the commune and we were chased into a wet marsh behind the school, so this time we did our best to avoid that situation. After finding access presumably created by vandals, we were greeted by a huge American style school including full size swimming pool, gym and theatre, all without any signs of vandalism and the only graffiti being that of previous students to the school, making it the best abandoned school we have seen so far in New Zealand.

See our video too.

 

House on the Hill

Rural legend says this house was transported to its spectacular hilltop location sometime in the 1980’s. Allegedly the farmer who owned the property, had intended to renovate the house and make it the family home. Apparently though soon after the building was in place, the couple separated and the man was left to bring up the children on his own. Then, because he couldn’t afford to spend any more time and money on the house, it duly deteriorated and is still standing like a folly decades later. Check out our videos here and here.

Korokoro dam

Built in 1903, the Korokoro dam was the first gravity fed concrete dam in New Zealand. It was originally constructed to supply water to Petone, some kilometers away.
The dam is now defunct and full of silt.

Undercity – House beneath the hotel

Until finding this place, I had no idea there was any kind of undercity in Wellington (drains notwithstanding).
It seems this hulking highrise luxury hotel has been built directly on top of an old house which is accessible from a dank ledge perched beneath the overhead colossus. Supporting columns sprout from the floors and pigeons seem to have taken up residence in this old home. Given Wellington’s tectonic nature, this was somewhat of an uneasy location to explore – but a very cool one nonetheless.

I’m not sure what the motivation was here in not demolishing the house, perhaps it was impossible to do so given some heritage protection – so the developers may have just worked “around” the problem…

Some old hotel paperwork hint at the house being previously accessible from the hotel above – but now any such route has been sealed over and the only access is via a a climb through a trash, rat and sewage filled dead space between buildings.

Cathedral of the damned

Planning a trip to Christchurch and meeting an overseas urbexer named WildBoyz from the United Kingdom was always an exciting prospect, teaming up with an experienced explorer from overseas with a load of locations in England already under his belt! Little did I know how many amazing locations we would end up finding.
Exploring Christchurch was both exciting and emotional, a city I used to come on holiday to, now vastly changed by the devastating earthquake of February 2011.

One of the most breathtaking explores we did on this trip involved coming across this grand cathedral, opened in 1905 it had association with the Vatican and was considered to be the finest renaissance-style building in New Zealand. After the February earthquakes two of the bell towers on the front of the cathedral collapsed and have since been removed and stored in a secret location by the priests, some of the stone blocks that came down have also been removed and numbered for later restoration. The future of the cathedral is unknown and the cosmetic and structural damage of the building is intense, there are plans to demolish the building while leaving some of the facade as a remembrance.

II Casino

We explored this former Italian restaurant two years ago, just prior to demolition. Remiro Bresolin, a flamboyant pioneer of Italian cuisine in New Zealand and legend of Wellington’s social scene, took drab Wellington and gave it a splash of Italian colour. For nearly 30 years his Il Casino restaurant was a capital icon and a mecca for food lovers everywhere. The restaurant closed just prior to his death in 2007 and in it’s place now stands another inner city apartment block.

The Chem-Suit Kid

It’s not everyday you see someone walking along the street wearing a full NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) suit–  but today was one of those days. We turned the car around and followed the shuffling figure, thinking they must have just been let out for the day. As we got out of the car and approached, gesturing with the camera and asking if we could take photos, he said in a muffled voice “okay”. As it turned out he was a student from the local high school and must have been about 16 or 17. There had been some sort of costume day at school, and being a military buff he had decided to wear the full chem-suit to school. He explained (without taking the mask off) that he had purchased the suit/mask etc in Russia and that his family was from there and Ukraine (Odessa). Then he waddled off up the hill towards home…

Gravity fed

Just beneath the top of one of Wellington city’s highest peaks there is a peculiar little tunnel, originally built to service a now defunct reservoir this tunnel is now bricked up part way along. Judging by the foot traffic in here it seems to be a popular detour from the nearby walking track.

Bad Education (redux)

One of our old haunts has finally been demolished. Hutt Valley High School (formerly Petone Technical College) was closed in 1998, but partially used up until 2002. The site had been heavily vandalized over the years and targeted on a number of occasions by arsonists- most recently this past January. This last fire was the nail in the coffin for the former school. The remaining buildings were demolished last month to make way for (ironically) a retirement village.

 

 

 

 

 

Mental Health – Secure Child Facility

This psychiatric hospital facility was open for more than 85 years and contained a society of mental health workers and patients. There are many reports of mistreatment throughout the years and it being an isolated, depressing place to live. Under some pressure and excitement we explored and were treated to some amazing finds.

Enjoy part one – The children’s ward 🙂 More to come.

Gunkanjima

One of us was lucky enough to visit legendary “Gunkanjima” a few years ago. Hashima Island, known locally as Gunkanjima (Battleship Island)- is situated off the coast of Japan near Nagasaki. Mitsubishi purchased the island in 1890 and began the project of extracting coal from undersea mines. They built Japan’s first large concrete building (9 stories high) in 1916 to accommodate the burgeoning ranks of workers. Concrete was specifically used to protect against typhoon destruction. In 1959, the 6.3-hectare (16-acre) island’s population reached its peak of 5,259, with a population density of 835 people per hectare for the whole island. As petroleum replaced coal in the 1960s, coal mines began shutting down all over the country, and Hashima’s mines were no exception. Mitsubishi officially announced the closure of the mines in 1974, with the local workers/inhabitants having to vacate their island fortress immediately.

Gunkanjima is increasingly gaining international attention, not only for its modern regional heritage, but also for the undisturbed housing complex remnants representative of the period. In the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall, the island served as an inspiration for the lair of villain Raoul Silva, but filming did not take place on the island itself. One section was recreated at Pinewood Studios in England and the rest via CGI. In 2013, Google sent an employee to the island with a Street View backpack to capture its condition in panoramic 360-degree views and allow users to take a virtual walk across the island. Google also used its Business Photos technology to let users look inside the abandoned buildings, complete with old black-and-white TVs and discarded soda bottles.

The Lost Resort

Anyone visiting Rarotonga for more than a few days, will probably have heard of (or seen) th