Reefton - The Mountain Biking and Tramping Hub!
Reefton is a unique town on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. It is the perfect place to launch your mountain bike or tramping trip. Reefton is one of the closest serviced towns to the Old Ghost Road at Lyell at just 39 miles (50.5 km) away. Reefton provides excellent facilities to help you to enjoy riding or tramping activities on the stunning West Coast including two supermarkets, four hotels, gas/service stations and a host of accommodation and services. It is also home to many interesting businesses such as the new distillery and some fascinating historical buildings.
Reefton is located about 80km northeast of Greymouth in the Inangahua River valley. It is famous for being the first town in New Zealand and the wider southern hemisphere to get electricity in 1888, earning it the nickname "The Town of Light".
Like many small towns on the West Coast, Reefton owes it's success to the gold mining boom of the 1800s. In 1866, rich veins of gold were found in a quartz reef near the town. This gave the town both it's current and former name - Reefton and Quartzopolis. Another major gold discovery in 1870 lead to a population boom. For a time after the discovery, Reefton boasted a population of several thousand. Other industries included coal mining, forestry, tourism and angling. The population later decreased to less than a thousand and the town suffered greatly when coal mining and forestry declined.
With the recent tourism boom on the West Coast, Reefton has experienced a renaissance. Thanks to an influx of creative people, new businesses have started up. The future of the Town of Light is once again bright.
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