Golden Reefton


The pursuit of gold and the history of Reefton Township go hand in hand.  It was the discovery of gold in the Reefton area during the 1860’s that created the spark that set the town alight, and the rise and fall of gold mining fortunes have been mirrored by the town right through to the present day where the Oceana Globe Gold Mine is a major employer in the Town.

Gold and gold mining has influenced every aspect of the town, creating a fascinating combination of history and adventure ready to be explored. It can be viewed in the rich historic elements of the area, highlighted by the historic mining towns of Big River and Waiutu and the Blacks Point Museum, all containing well maintained and presented relics and memorabilia from the early time of settlement.  The discovery of gold also bought an innovation and technological boom to the town which resulted in advances in mining methods and machinery, the creation of what would become a rich rail history, and most amazing of all lead to the town becoming the first in the Southern Hemisphere to have a municipal electric power system.


An enthusiastic and heritage minded Reefton community has ensured that through time the history of the area has not been lost. This is most obvious when looking at the town centre which still contains numerous original buildings, maintained and restored from the early days when gold rush fever ruled. The verandas and beautiful facades create the sense of living within an iconic part of the West Coasts pioneering history.

Reefton is a rare location that enables you to witness firsthand the entire evolution of gold mining from the time of the first mines in the area right through to the operation of a modern mine still working today. View the historic mining towns at Waiutu and Blacks Point including a fully working stamping battery used to extract gold in the early days of mining.  Later try one of the Oceana Gold Globe mine tours offering a unique opportunity to see the inner workings of a modern, fully operational gold mine. 

Whether you are viewing mining operations both historic and modern; paying a visit to the Bearded Miners; panning for gold in one of the beautiful West Coast rivers; taking a walk or mountain bike ride on one of the numerous old gold tracks and trails; or simply strolling down the main road; your fascinating and exciting Reefton visit will be shaped by the rich history of gold mining



Reefton's gold rush in the 1860's helped to establish many of today's exisiting buildings and accommodation providers. As well as charm and history, you can also stay in modern hotels and motels or take in the serenity at the camping ground or DOC sites. Stay in Reefton - accommodation with a golden heritage at your door step. Where to stay...

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Victoria Park




Big River




Living History


Heritage tours


Reefton Cinema