I woke up and saw this:

Too cold. Time to go on holiday!

Given that I am not a zillionaire I was limited to holidays near home – REEFTON!

The main street

It’s an easy hour’s drive from Greymouth so I zipped up and checked in to the Old Nurse’s Home Guest House.  Single room for $50 with extremely hot shower.  Excellent.

The I-site was however NOT excellent.  I asked about day walks and the woman knew nothing.  I must still look poor because she did warn me that the two brochures she recommended would cost . . . TWO DOLLARS.

I went on the little walk around the town.  Reefton has a lot of historic buildings – mainly from exodus after gold and coal rushes.  The walk takes about 2 hours with a lot of stops for taking photos and sidetracking.

The recreated slab hut. You can visit the Bearded Miners here.

Looking back down the main street

The old mine manager’s residence

NOT the old manager’s residence! This is a few houses down. Note the Free Free sign on the right, pointing to a pile of JUNK!

School of Mines.

If you head up the road to Christchurch about 400m you can cross a bridge and take the path to the old powerhouse.


The powerhouse site is of international significance.  It was the first public supply of electricity in NZ and the southern hemisphere in 1888.  Unfortunately the site has been left to ruin.

There used to be an interpretation panel here, but it has gone.

It was a hydroelectric plant. This is the turbine.

View from the output channel

I walked back through the winter splendour and back to town.

Surveyor’s house (1871) and courthouse

There were some old churches on the route, teh Oddfellows hall, and a masonic lodge.

Centennial rotunda from 1968

I must say that this space evoked the desolation of the town more than any empty shop front.

Even more than this.

However there are some buildings that have been restored.


Miner’s residence

Unlike the powerstation the first light does have a public profile.  The original did not survive but there is this replacement in its place.

And of course coal

There is a gym but for casual entry you need to hitch it up during the day at the I-site.  There is a somewhat useful jungle gym at the school.  I did a bit of exercise but it was FREEZING so I had dinner at Alfresco (but definitely NOT al fresco – I parked myself inside at the seat closest to the heater).

Ooh, with salad. How modern!

Just as well it was on a hotplate or it would have been cold within 2 min, even with me sitting next to the heater.

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