Reefton defies the odds of the tourism boom, but neighboring towns don’t have the same success
Reefton is a west coast town to watch.
“Reefton has never been a tourist destination and I think what ultimately happened is,” said Buller District Councilor John Bougen.
“We just surprised a whole bunch of New Zealanders how cute it is, how good it is, what we have to offer, and the net result is that now it has become a destination of its own. whole. “
Gold mining in the region is thriving, home to some of the best fisheries in the world, but most importantly, this small town has been revitalized.
For 30 years, locals have slowly transformed all of their storefronts into their former historical glory, which has resulted in tourism.
“Love it, it’s really quaint, really relaxed and the people are so friendly,” says one resident.
“I couldn’t believe the fantastic variety of skills and creative abilities people have at Reefton,” said another.
“I love looking at all the stores and spending money and it’s good to remember that when I come back to Sydney.”
Reefton is now welcoming its inhabitants again.
Patsy Bass moved after 20 years to Christchurch to turn pure West Coast water into gin.
“We’ve been open for almost three years and our feet have literally not touched the ground since we opened,” said Bass, founder of Reefton Distilling Co.
The continuity of their success was felt throughout the city.
“Usually it’s booming, cafes are full, hotels said they’ve never had anything like it in terms of the number of dinners in the evening and there are a lot of people from outside. the city now buying both Commercial and Residential properties. ”
But the same cannot be said of cities further south, which depend almost entirely on international tourism. Their number is worse this year than last year.
“Reefton really stands out on the West Coast. If you look at tourism statistics as an example since COVID-19, visitor spending has increased by 42%, ”said Heath Milne, Managing Director of Development West Coast.
“François-Joseph [is] currently sitting at [a] 49% decrease, so it’s really a success. “
This is one of the locals are fiercely proud to say.
“We’ve kind of snuck into the world and it’s a good place to be,” said Bougen.
Another to add to the list of must-see visits.