28 Nov 2013

Your place - Reefton

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:21 pm on 28 November 2013

A town that owes its beginnings to the gold rush of the 1860s, but that's not what made it famous. In August 1888 Reefton became the first town in New Zealand, and in fact the Southern Hemisphere, to have its streets lit by electricity. By December 1888 a public electricity supply was connected to most homes in the town too, even before some of the fashionable suburbs of London and New York. To put it in context, it wasn't until December 1923, 35 years later, that electricity was introduced to Nelson. Welcome to Reefton, ahead of its time, established in 1870 and immediately prosperous due to the mining boom and a railway that linked it with Greymouth, 80 kilometres to the Southwest.