Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton, West Coast NZ

A pleasant short walk between the town of Reefton and the village of Blacks Point, plus visit a historic power station site.

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton

After doing a couple of excellent walks in Victoria Forest Park (the Klondyke Routes and Mt Haast Route) we took a day off to look around the historic mining town of Reefton. To do so we walked about 2-2.5km into town from our accommodation in the small village of Blacks Point along the Pipeline and Tram Tracks. These made for pleasant walking through mostly native forest with a bit of scrub, with just a short ascent and descent at the start and end. We later did the short Powerhouse Walk, learning about the hydro scheme that powered the southern hemisphere’s first electric street lighting. There’s almost nothing left of this but they are going to build a replica I believe.

In town we stopped at an artists’s collective and gallery, chatting to one of the friendly artists called Tony. Then over the road we chatted with another artist called Princess Hart in her gallery and workshop, an old bank building. Princess is an interesting lady from America who’s been all over the place, but has settled for now in Reefton. She told us various stories and history of the town and even gave us a locally made rhubarb soft drink. We also stopped at the local gin distillery for some not so soft drink. Note also that there is a museum in Black’s Point, that was unfortunately closed on the day we stopped by. 

Track notes at the end.

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton: The Scenery

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton
The track at the Blacks Point end started in exotic forest.

 

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton
Looking back at Blacks Point.

 

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton
Nice patches of forest along the way.

 

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton
Healthy tree fern.

 

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton
The town of Reefton and the Inangahua River. You can see the swing bridge down there which is part of the Powerhouse Walk. These views from the Tram Track.

 

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton
An old bank building now used as the artist Princess Hart’s gallery and workshop.

 

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton
The former mine manager’s house.

 

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton
The School of Mines. It was closed like many places on a holiday Monday.

 

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton
Flowerpots at the School of Mines.

 

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton
The gin distillery.

 

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton
The main street of Reefton.

 

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton
Inangahua River from the road bridge.

 

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton
The swing bridge at the end (or start) of the Powerhouse Walk.

 

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton
Inangahua River

 

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton
Returning to Blacks Point along the Pipeline Track.

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton

Track Notes

Pipeline & Tram Tracks plus Powerhouse Walk, Reefton
The Pipeline Track in light green, and the Tram Track in yellow. They connect Reefton with Blacks Point. The Powerhouse Walk is in pink. I’m afraid part is missing off picture at the bottom, but you walk through town and cross the river on the road bridge, then walk back up the river, through the old powerhouse site with information signs, and then over the swing bridge (which is on the map). Or go the other way around.

We first walked from Blacks Point Towards Reefton, but in the Google Map below I’ve shown the starting point at the Reefton end, which is just on the edge of town (to the east; it starts on a vehicle track then you turn right onto a walking track at a kind of closed reservoir site). There are maps along the Pipeline Track and Tram Track so you shouldn’t get lost. These tracks connect with some other longer tracks that visit mining sites and scenic places further into the forests.

The Powerhouse Walk can be done as a circuit through town and then back up the Inangahua River, crossing the river on a swing bridge (eastern edge of town near the start of the Pipeline Track) and a road bridge (on the road out of town to the west). It’s all pretty obvious.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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