Farm Goes Back To Goldrush Days

Published date12 April 2023
Publication titleWest Coast Farming Times, The
JANE WELLS paid a visit

That notorious rogue Albert Hunt, who stole the lead from local Maori unsuccessfully claiming the reward for the first payable gold on the Coast, steered a band of hopefuls to Hunts Beach, South Westland, in 1865, in a search for gold.

The 200 men, furious when the rush turned out to be a dud, decided that rather than mooching back north they'd explore a little. Payable gold was eventually found in the black sands of Gillespies Beach, named after one of the returning horsemen.

Before long 650 people had arrived.

Almost overnight, shops, two butcheries and bakeries were in business with supplies arriving via the beach 'highway' from Okarito.

When the easy gold gave out, the miners began stripping the land to considerable depths, following the rich seams...

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