Reefton, The West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

Reefton Fern

Reefton is considered the gateway to the West Coast for travellers from the east.
Reefton, lies inland, 80 kilometres northeast of Greymouth, in the valley of the Inangahua River
 and is at the heart of the Victoria Conservation Park famous for its Beech Forests.

Reefton is a place steeped in history with extensive historical sites and buildings.
Reefton is named after the extensive gold bearing quartz reefs
 that were discovered in the late 1860s.
 Built on gold, Reefton retains much of its old-world charm today.
The main street of the town has a Western movie set feel and many of the buildings lining Broadway Street date back to the 1870s.

Reefton was the first town in New Zealand to have electric lighting, which was switched on in 1888, just six years after Thomas Edison’s technology first lit the streets of New York.

Coal mining supported the region in the 1900s and these days, gold and coal mining remain the community’s economic foundation. The historically high gold price of late has boosted the local economy and given the region a surge of development and much of the town has been renovated to retain its historic appeal.

 The drive between Reefton and Westport along the Buller Gorge is enchanting; there are many places to pull over, stop and breath in the scenic splendour of the raging Buller River and the giant white clouds that rise from the steep forested valley.

Take the town’s heritage walk or follow one of the walking tracks in the Victoria Conservation Park.


  • Historic town walks
  • Gold mine tours
  • Golf
  • Hunting
  • Mountain biking
  • Fishing
  • Bird watching
  • Ghost towns
  • Gold panning
  • 4WD tracks
  • Rodeo.