Detailed Information for Making Choices


The trip is now getting down to final details!

Because of the numbers and the size of Reefton this trip has to be more ordered than other trips.

Please read attached notes on what there is planned /not planned

The actual itinerary is still to be confirmed but is pretty well as set out below



Tues 9th  Arrive and settle in                                     3pm People of Reefton               Own dinner arrangements


Wed 10th Mackay twins 10.30                                 School of Mines time to be confirmed probably 4pmish                     


Thursday 11th  10am Oceana Gold Tour                Gin Distillery Tours 3pm -4pm and 4pm -5pm        Drinks together 5.30pm Group Dinner 7pm


Friday 12th   10am Golden Fleece Battery/Museum          ?Waiuta



I now need numbers for some activities ,so that venues can be confirmed so please just a quick email back to me.


Gin distillery can only do 2 tours of 16 persons each so it would have to be first in.


School of Mines


The school opened in 1886 , it was set up to teach miners their trade and was also used occasionally to teach chemistry to local school children as part of their schooling. It is a gabled building that holds an extensive technical book collection and wonderful mineral collection sourced from places around the world. John Bougen bought the building in 2015 and renovated itand he will be giving our talk . This will be approx. I hour


The McKay Twins


Steffan and Nigel who were born, raised and have always lived in Reefton are quirky, iconic teetotalling 70 year olds. They have a great knowledge of the history of the area and of its water sources, and plants. They have Australasia’s largest collection of whisky vessels and much more memorabilia.

They do the collection of the plants and water for the gin distillery and are the ambassadors for the distillery.

Both are keen to talk to us and depending on the size of the group and the weather we will go to the old cemetery as they have researched the graves and have put a headstone on Little Biddy’s grave and have many stories to tell of the inhabitants! If the weather is too inclement we will have an inside chat. This will be approx. 1 hour


John Bougen a notable entrepreneur, photographer, author and philanthropist, a man of many talents and interests. After his marriage to Castle Hill Station owner Christine Fernyhough endedhe moved to Reefton in 2015.He has been instrumental in breathing new life into this old gold mining town by restoring heritage buildings, beautifying common use areas and putting up flags in the main street. He mows residents lawns with his ride on, supplies paint at a cheap rate. John will be our after dinner speaker at our group dinner. 


Women of Reefton has morphed into People of Reefton. This change is because there is considerable interest from Probus men and my friend in Reefton has some interesting and sharp 80yr olds to speak to us. This will be in the form of  casual chats over a cup of tea at a venue to be decided on the size of the group. This will be from 3pm till ? 5pm on our first day


Museum of Stuff  - Blacks Point


The museum is as its name implies, is full of stuff . There are items of information about the local area and its people from many years back.  It records life in a mining town. It is not sophisticated but is very tactile. You will either enjoy this cluttered gem  or find it a waste of time .  

Golden Fleece Stamper Battery -the battery is in a pleasant bush setting a short walk from the museum. It was moved to the site and restored to working order in1970 and is powered by its own hydro scheme. Depending on the numbers the curator will get a volunteer to start it approx. ½ to ¾ hour for each .


Globe Progress – Mine Restoration Tour

This tour is run through the I site in conjunction with OceanaGold and takes approximately 2 hours.

The tour starts at the I site where there is a mock up of an underground quartz Mine and a short film of Oceana’sactivity.

The Globe Progress mine is an open cast mine that opened in 2007 and ceased mining in 2016 having yielded 610,000 ounces of goldIt is now in the Restoration phase. At the end of the 19th C there was a Globe and a Progress underground mine in the same area.

The tour takes groups of 20 by Unimog  [ 4WD truck/bus] to the mine area to see the mine pit and the on going restoration of the workings.   Cost about $30 if we  and I site can muster 40 people  [ 2 trips reducing to $20 for 60 peopleh


There are a range of walks around Reefton for all abilities so pick up a map from the I site.  

Power House Walk  this is on the south side of the river and is reached via the swing bridge a short walk along the road from the top end of town. There are display panels at points along the walk that describe the power scheme as well as lots of local history. The power scheme is fed by a water race that is in the early stage of restoration. This is an easy walk along the river bank to the highway bridge and back to town.


Murray Creek walks – from the Golden Fleece battery at Blacks Point the Murray Creek Track runs up an old tram line through pleasant bush  to Energetic Junction with a short branch to the Energetic Mine shaft. The track continues on to Waitahu Junction and joins the Ajax track which takes you back to Blacks Point.   This loop takes 4- 5 hours and would make a good half day walk for the fitter social climbers. The less ambitious could do an Out and back on the Murray creek track

[ will check on likely wasp activity in bush in Feb and bring Antihistamine]The Murray Creek track is also described as an Intermediate MTB track as it is a former road to mines up the valley whereas the Ajax track is for advanced bikers.

Other activities – own arrangements

Golf   A very nice 12 hole course $10 per round

4WD/bike – Waitahu River track – This runs off the end of Gannons Rd [ right turn off SH6 past the railway station. The road runs through bush alongside the river - the Clematis swing bridge is about 7km up the road and is the start of the track up to Waitahu junction at the top end of Murrays Creek track.

Swimming . There is a very nice swimming pool plus some great river swimming and picnic spots.