Thursday, April 4, 2013

Twisters, Coal, Gold and Light

We took a walk in the woods at Reefton, yet another town which built up around a gold rush. One of the mines in these woods, with the pit-head at about 500 metres, went down to 200 metres below sea level. The mine was closed in the 50s because of internal collapse, but 230,000 ounces of gold had been extracted. They hadn't finished digging, so there is obviously still gold in that thar shaft.

The woods are full not only of fallen trees but abandoned mine workings. Much of the track we walked on was on the bed of a railway which served the mines. It is amazing to think of somebody hauling all the equipment up into what must have been a very remote spot in the early years of colonisation.

Memorial To The Scores Of Coal Miners Who Have Lost Their Lives In The Greymouth Area, Including  The 29  Killed In The Recent Pike River Mine Disaster

Lovely Balconies

This is the Lantern Court Motel in Reefton, where we stayed for the last couple of nights. Before that we  were in Hokitika for a week. On Saturday we were having a coffee over the road from a very similar hotel, the Railway, and we were admiring the upper balconies. On Sunday, as we munched lunch in our motel room, a tornado came in from the sea and ripped the roof from the Railway Hotel and a few other buildings.

Reefton, Town of Light
Reefton was the first town in the Southern Hemisphere to produce and reticulate (I think that means distribute, so why can't they say so) electricity.

And the house just above that picture, believe it or not, is for sale.

And I do know there is some duplication of the photos but I don't seem to be able to correct that.

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