West Coast Towns – Part 2

We explored a big West Coast town in the last post, but what about the tiny ones? There are plenty of them to choose from. Many towns were founded because of mining, timber or sealing/whaling. Not a lot of agriculture was established because the terrain was very mountainous with dense forests. Even the Maori found it hard going here and generally only came to find their precious greenstone (a form of jade).

17km north of Westport is the hamlet of Waimangaroa (long black river), which refers to the peaty river that flows through the town.


It might be small, but their war memorial is central to the town.


The bush and the hills that back the town is not very hospitable, but we’ll head up the top there in future posts when we’ll check out a historical mining site.

13km further up the road is the hamlet of Granity, another mining town. There’s also some steep, forested hills backing this town.


The town is not without its facilities though, as this former-church-turned-library testifies. Rather cute, I think.


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