Sunday, June 11, 2017


This was all so long ago (the beginning of April) but I want to get it all down so that I can look back on it later.  On Day 6 we awoke in Reefton to a chilly morning and after breakfast went for a walk along the main street.  The town owes its origins to the discovery of gold bearing quartz reefs in the locality in the late 1860s when the gold rush fever hit the West Coast.
The town itself became established about 1870 and immediately became an entrepreneurial and prosperous place.
With mining came technology and innovation, and in August 1888 Reefton became the first place in New Zealand and the Southern Hemisphere to have a public supply of electricity, even before the fashionable suburbs of London and New York

First we visited the

Miners Hut

Bringing history further to life are the Bearded Mining Company at the Miners Hut. This replica hut depicting 1860s style housing is made of native cedar slabs and set amongst native plantings right in the heart of town on Broadway.
Gavin, Peter and Geoff are 'in residence' all year, and welcome visitors in to learn how a miner lived in the 19th century when the promise of gold lured thousands of prospectors to the area.
You can sit in front of the fire, enjoy a cup of tea, watch pieces of iron and steel being shaped on the blacksmith forge or try your hand at gold panning where flakes of gold are 'guaranteed' to be found.

I then walked to the end of the shops where I could see several people from our tour.  There was a shop which sold most things from second hand items to jewellery,   The shop was owned by a gentleman who has bought most of the town and is responsible for its thriving.  Unfortunately, I didn't catch his name.  I remember him though as a tall man in a high vis jacket delicately helping  one of the ladies in our group to try on a necklace.  Not a lot of people around in the town as it was still quite early.

This gentleman was about to join a coach load of American Tourists to guide them around the area.

After that we boarded our bus for the trip to Havelock.  The tour was arranged so that we travelled on a different route  to that on our outward journey at least part of the way.

We did stop at  Murchison once again for our lunch.  We then went to St Arnaud to see the lake and then on to Havelock where we were to stay for two nights.

Monday, May 29, 2017


On our fifth day we checked out of our motel units at the Last Resort Motel at Karamea and, after breakfast were shown the conference room with the main beam of the ceiling being one tree before  climbing into three school mini buses to go to the Operara Arches  as the large bus was too big to negotiate the road.  From memory the drive was about 40 minutes each way.  We had a magical walk.

We then returned to our motel at Karamea where we had a delicious lunch of freshly caught fish and chips with numerous extras before heading south to Reefton where we spent the night.

Friday, May 19, 2017


After going up to the Denniston Plateau we continued our journey to Karamea.  
We arrived there for a late lunch as the Denniston detor was not on the itinerary.  As there were no cafe's our lunch was supplied by the motel and comprised a selection of sandwiches with tea or coffee.  After this we headed to the start of the Heaphy track where we went across a swing bridge and did a loop walk at the start of the track. 

Monday, May 15, 2017


The 4th day of our holiday dawned fine.  We checked out of our hotel and went to the Coaltown Museum in Westport.  This was one of the best small museums that I have been to.  Having been to the Denniston Plateau the previous day made it even more interesting.  There was a simulated underground mine and different videos playing on life on the plateau.  We spent a while there and then headed for Karamea.

As it was such a good day and we were passing the road to the plateau a head count was taken as to who would like to go back up to see the plateau on a good day.  The ayes were well in the majority and so we headed back up to the plateau.  It was amazing the difference a day made as far as the view was concerned.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Food

I wanted a meal that was completely gluten free so that I didn't have to worry about what I could eat.  The ceremony was at the Alzheimer's building and Zoe, who cooks the meals for the clients, has just set up a catering company with a friend called A to Z catering.  Zoe trained as a chef here in Whangarei and then worked her way around the world cooking before returning to Whangarei and starting to work for Alzheimer's.

The meal was delicious.