As early as the 1860’s limestone has been quarried at various sites around North Otago, to build some of New Zealand’s most prominent architecturally designed buildings.
In 1906 the first stone was quarried from the current site on the Parkside farm. Some of the first stone produced from Parkside was used to build Ōamaru’s iconic Opera House.
These days, all the other quarries are gone, but Parkside remains quarrying this high grade creamy limestone, that has enhanced exteriors and interiors with an impressive range of styles for over 100 years.
Cutting the stone
Originally, a large steam driven chainsaw mounted on rails was used to cut the stone from the quarry floor. This saw was later converted to diesel and more recently was power driven.
This method has now made way for 3 metre circular blades with tungsten tips. These saws operate hydraulically on Parkside’s excavators.
Low emission production
Once cutting is complete, the large 2 tonne slabs of Ōamaru Stone are broken out of the quarry floor, loaded onto trucks and carted to the factory approximately 400 metres away. These blocks are then individually loaded onto trolleys, which are used to feed the three breakdown circular saws.
The 1.80 metre tungsten tipped saws cut the stone to the required size, before the stone is stacked and strapped onto pallets ready for transport to site.