"Mining & Logging" Bulolo by Bwana_Brown

Bulolo Travel Guide: 8 reviews and 12 photos

In October, 1980, after living in Papua New Guinea for just over one year, I led a small team from the PNG Electricity Commission into the old gold-mining area of Bulolo. This town is located just south of the city of Lae, and not far from the end of the line at Wau (see my 'General Tips' for a map of Bulolo's location). We were there to assist the local privately-owned hydro-electric dam with some technical problems that it was experiencing. It was the discovery of gold deposits in the 1920s at both Bulolo and Wau that led to the 1930s explorations further into the Highlands of PNG. However, at the same time, the rich deposits of gold in the remote Wau/Bulolo area led to a massive engineering undertaking to bring this material to world markets. In the end, a world airlift record was set in the early 1930s when 8 huge dredges, each weighing between 1500-2500 tonnes, were flown into the site in pieces by German-built Junkers G31 tri-motor aircraft. We just wandered around these abandoned ruins, taking the time to think what it must have been like in it's hey-day! This page details my impressions of that very interesting trip a quarter-century ago!

  • Last visit to Bulolo: Oct 1980
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (8)

Comments (9)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Oct 30, 2008 at 2:25 PM

    Glenn, fascinating little page with outstanding photos of these massive machines. Well done.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2008 at 6:10 PM

    Yes, indeed, what an opportunity for you, and this is most interesting for me to view and read because it's all so new for me and a place I'll never see in person; however, vicariously is still great.

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2008 at 5:01 AM

    amazing stuff, fascinating

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2008 at 1:10 PM

    Interesting insight into your work in faraway lands.

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Aug 23, 2007 at 9:22 PM

    Fascinating stuff, Glenn. I've always been amazed how they flew those gold dredges in with those small planes - surprising too, that the dredges survived the war!

  • pepples46's Profile Photo
    May 31, 2006 at 2:01 PM

    to be honest, I didn't know Gold had be mined here in PNG..learnt something today. tks Glenn, great page from this part of the world..again

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Apr 14, 2006 at 8:50 PM

    These dredges are impressive! It is amazing to discover that as far back as the 1930s, it was possible to bring such heavy engines by plane. What man would not do for gold!

  • sachara's Profile Photo
    Dec 14, 2005 at 12:45 PM

    Always interesting to read your oldies of PNG, Glenn !

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Dec 2, 2005 at 1:47 AM

    an interesting page, Glen !


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