Image: Jason Blair ©

Te Tai Poutini West Coast

The rise of a resourceful nation

Te Tai Poutini West Coast’s Tohu Whenua tell the stories of the hardships endured for our country’s most prized resources. A region known for its incredible beauty and rich bounty, these are the places where our people’s limits were tested and rewarded.

Stand where some of our most significant industrial history unfolded in the pursuit of gold and coal, feel the wairua in the heart of Te Wai Pounamu’s jade sources and appreciate our taonga and the journeys that led us to them.


Waiuta was the location of the third biggest mine in New Zealand and the largest producer of gold on the West Coast. Its mines produced nearly 750,000 ounces of gold, which today would be worth $1.6 billion.

Historic Reefton

Nicknamed Quartzopolis and the Town of Light, Reefton was the booming commercial centre of quartz reef gold mining and the first place in the southern hemisphere to supply electric street lighting.

Denniston Mine

Once a leading coal mining town, Denniston sits high on the edge of a steep incline railway once described as the 8th wonder of the world. A town of extremes, workers mined the highest quality coal but families suffered the lowest living conditions.

Brunner Mine

An event that shook the nation, Brunner Mine pays homage to New Zealand's worst ever workplace disaster, which ultimately sparked West Coast unionism and better safety legislation.

Hokitika Port, Commercial and Government Centre

Hokitika first drew Māori for its rich source of pounamu, and later became the most valued port of the West Coast gold rush era.

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