Reefton – art, cafes and history


Wet weekend forecast for us on the Coast – well pretty much all of the South Island of New Zealand.  What to do – finish the cleaning and blob out in front of the TV or jump in the car and take a drive…….

The main street of Reefton - town of light, West Coast, NZ

Easy take a drive.  Lets go to Reefton.  Funky little art gallery run as a co-op between 7 artists from the Buller Region.  Current exhibition on until the end of the long Queens Birthday weekend of Alison Hale and her tribute to the Pioneer Women of the West Coast – sounds like a plan.

Smallbone Gallery, Main Street, Reefton, NZ

Reefton main street, West Coast, NZ

Arriving in Reefton is like taking a step back in time – and in a good way.  This is one seriously cool little town.  A proud town, proud of its history and heritage – first place in the Southern Hemisphere to have street lighting – that is definitely something to be proud of!

Alison Hale exhibition Reefton

oil on glass Alison Hale exhibition Reefton

Tribute to Pioneer Women of the West Coast, Alison Hale exhibition, Reefton

The village centre can only be described as pumping.  We struggle to find a car park.  First stop is the Smallbone Gallery to check out the Alison Hale exhibition.   Alison usually does oil on canvas but this exhibition was oil on glass and it was very effective.  Alison describes this process as “The depth of the glass creates a three-dimensional world in which each gesture and attitude comes to life.”  She is so right.  Stephen and I really enjoyed this medium for a change.

Reef cottage cafe, Reefton, NZ

Reef Cottage cafe, Reefton, NZ

Gallery done time for lunch.  For a small village you have plenty of choice in Reefton.  Such a vibrant place.  We usually go to the Broadway Tearooms and Bakery – fabulous steak and mushroom pies and ginger crunch slice.  This time though we thought we’d try somewhere new and we noticed driving in that the Reef Cottage Cafe was open so that is where we headed.  Lovely atmosphere – very cosy with either table seating or sofas to choose from.  We chose the sofas by the window so we could people watch.  There was a large group already seated – a small jag car club over at the coast for the weekend.  While we were sitting there a ford car club came into town – chargers, mustangs – you know, super cool cars…….

Mustangs on main street, Reefton, NZ

Reefton is full of history – coal and gold mining not to mention the street lighting.  Seriously cool little town and highly recommend a visit sometime.  Great place to spend some time on a wet day on the West Coast.  Great place to spend some time on a sunny day too but I’ll tell you about that another day…….

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  They love getting out and exploring the West Coast and love it even more to share their experiences with you.

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About coastingnz

Jan and Stephen live on the Punakaiki coastline, north of Greymouth on the West Coast, NZ and run Breakers Boutique Accommodation. They both enjoy the outdoors and are passionate about things to see and do on the West Coast and would like to share their experiences with you.
This entry was posted in cycling, Mountain biking New Zealand, Nature, NZ Accommodation, NZ history, outdoors, photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Reefton – art, cafes and history

  1. bulldog says:

    sounds a great place for a visit… thanks for sharing…

  2. Always nice to have a rainy day plan. Looks like a fun little town. – Curt

    • coastingnz says:

      It is a fun little town Curt. They have been very proactive at a time when the economic downturn could have had an adverse affect on them. Very vibrant.

  3. Reblogged this on American Southwest Magazine and commented:
    A wonderful post:

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