Thursday, January 2, 2014

Third Time Lucky: The Vaults

Because of the my spontaneous nature, I only came to the vaults with 13% phone battery and paper thin shoes with holes in them. I had to hurriedly snap some photos before my battery would run out and I'd be stranded in a pitch-black, underground maze like complex without my phone torch. 

So what am I going on about with "the vaults"? 

Most people don't believe me, but hell yeah it used to be the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Where the New Zealand Government used to keep all its cash assets and gold bars. And if you're wondering, no not a cent was left when I went there! Only in 2006 the Reserve Bank was moved to Wellington and having lain derelict for several years it was time for me to explore this underground world which used to hold millions. 

Third time lucky: The previous two times I tried to get through: 
#1 Door was jammed shut no matter how many karate kicks I gave it.
#2 Club bouncers and hobos on the street watching me trying to break in through corrugated iron gap. Either way I'd get in trouble with either the law or the law-less and had to call it quits. 
#3 Had to enlist the help of Tansix, realised I'd probably get lost in this maze myself.  

So we went down two flights of stairs to go underground. Then went around in circles tip-toeing through in really skinny tunnels. Lo and behold handfuls of gigantic safes like this one.

And this one. Too bad the government didn't leave a gold bar for me!

Some 70's looking contraption by the elevators

This is how thick the mini-door to each safe was! Few times how fat I was!

Once you pulled the metal grate in front of the door up, these dim lights would come on, and yes the building still had electricity! But all good, the government is paying for it anyway. 

What the door looks like, if you wondered. Big heavy door with a lot of momentum. I tried to push one with all my energy. It literally moved 0.0001cm. Then gained momentum then uncontrollably slammed shut. 

Once we got sick of slamming vault doors shut we trekked through 13 floors of emptied office buildings. The top floor used to be hired to Telecom and we still found dozens of cabinets of electrical motherboards with their LED's still flashing!

The pretty blue and orange themed boiler room suggests this building was of the 70's. There were 5-6 of these lying around and I felt like I was in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory somehow!

And a beautiful rooftop view to end the evening. 

It's a pity that was my first and last chance to visit something so rare, it is now under demolition to become a hotel. 


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