Issue #19

20 October 2020

Inspiring stories, real news and the hard questions

Well the election is over and we can get back to life on the Coast!

Glamping at Hurunui Jacks is on offer this week in our special Coaster’s Pass deal.

We have a look at the Thomlinson Mining operation in the Grey Valley where productive land is developed from the aftermath of the mining. And we take you to the Greymouth Street Races for some motorsport action. And, of course, we have a calendar of Coast events that are coming up.

Our regular columns are here too with updates from Aratuna Freighters and Williams Hotels Group. Pottery and poetry get an airing and we look at the sale of the historic and iconic Ferguson Farm. Les Wright and Anne Hall are our coast Characters this week.

Have a listen here to my take on what’s happening on the Coast this week:


Enjoy this 19th issue of the Coaster’s Weekly.
Bruce Smith

About The Coaster’s Club

The Coaster’s Club is of course the vehicle by which we can all stay connected so I would encourage you to join up.

I know we can’t always agree on all things, but we can agree that we all want the best for the Coast and the people whose lives and history are intrinsically tied to this wonderful place.

Here’s how you can be part of the Coaster’s Club:

  • Follow us on Facebook: The Coaster’s Club
  • Follow us on Twitter: The_Coasters_Club
  • Subscribe to our You Tube channel and see dozens of videos that don’t get published anywhere else.
  • Receive our newsletter, The Coaster’s Weekly, like 33,500 others do and keep connected!

Go to and enter your email address in the panel on the home page. Subscribing to Coaster’s Weekly is as easy as that!

Hope to see you soon,
Bruce Smith

Coast Events

Get your motors running

Street racing returns to Greymouth

Labour Weekend 24-25 October

The 2020 Greymouth Motorcycle Street Race returns to the streets of our fair town this Labour Weekend, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 October.

Saturday will see action aplenty as the quarter mile time sprints hit the streets while on Sunday it’s fast and furious street racing action, all day!

This event gives a welcome boost to Greymouth’s economy as up to 100 riders and between 3000 and 5000 spectators from all over New Zealand arrive to take in the thrills and spills.

Coaster’s Weekly says a big congratulations to the committee who have set up this very timely event. We feature here some of the action from last year’s event – a teaser for this coming weekend.

Barry Baxter in action in his first race on the Greymouth circuit last year:


Dan Wilson is shown here in his first F2 race at the 2019 Greymouth Street Races:

Get your motors running

Coast Events

The 2018 prizegiving

The 2018 prizegiving included Neville Hughes (pictured), winner of John Jones Memorial – Supermotor ride-of-the-day. 



More race action from previous years:

Greymouth Mototrcycle Street Race

Posted by Greymouth Motorcycle Street Race on Tuesday, September 24, 2019


The Duke is one of the proud sponsors of the Greymouth Street Race and is once again open to the public for next weekend’s event serving cold beer, warm fire and West Coast whitebait patties!

There will be a DJ in action on Saturday night. And look at this race day deal – On Sunday $15 for a pint and a whitebait sandwich. A perfect match for a great event!









The 2018 prizegiving

Mining: the life blood of the West Coast’s economy

The aftermath of mining – productive land

Thomlinson Brothers Mining show just what can be done

Thomlinson Brothers Mining operate in the Grey Valley. They are extremely proud of what they have managed to achieve in terms of land restoration post mining operations.

They have sent in a series of before and after pics to show how they have managed to bring old mining sites back into productive land.

“We see Coaster’s Weekly has been showing people around the world how good alluvial gold mining is for the Coast,” say the Thomlinson brothers. “So we thought you might be interested in a few photos of our alluvial gold claim up the Grey Valley.”

Williams Hotels Group Update

The Williams Family – Coast pioneers

There are people and families whose vision, determination and perseverance helped establish the West Coast and its indomitable character. And in so doing, they provided a strong foundation on which the Coast has continued to be built by others who have been drawn to this wonderful place.

Both the Ashley Hotel in Greymouth and The Punakaiki Resort have accommodation for the Greymouth Street races this weekend and also for Ag Fest on the 11 and 12 November.

Meet Mark Williams from the Williams Hotel Group:

The Williams Family – Coast pioneers

Coasters Pass

Glamping at Hurunui Jacks

Ask for the Coaster’s Club deal!

Hurunui Jacks is situated on the West Coast of the South Island, just 12 kms from the centre of Hokitika, and metres from the spectacular West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail.

Hurunui Jacks is an unforgettable glamping experience. Your luxury canvas tent rests on a private spot beside the Kaniere River, nestled amongst ancient virgin forest. Surrounded by National Park and Conservation land,  it’s 15 acres of total peace and tranquility – and a perfect get-away for couples.

The campsite consists of a large and roomy canvas tent, with a wood-burning stove.

A fully covered and enclosed camp kitchen and bathroom is set just a few metres away and you can either cook on the gas rings – or try camp-style cooking over an open fire.

Enjoy a glass of wine and a soak in an outdoor bath under the stars at night.  Then, tucked up in your comfortable bed, between linen sheets and under a goose down duvet, you’ll be able to lie back and relax to the sound of the river. Lose yourself in the West Coast wilderness and enjoy the peace and the ethereal feeling of being surrounded by ancient bush, in a truly unique landscape.

Hurunui Jacks is a paradise for wildlife with bush robins, fantails, tuis, bellbirds and native wood pigeons  flitting through the moss-covered rimu, matai and totara trees.

Check it out here.

Coaster’s Club Top Video Posts

This week’s top posts from the Coaster’s Club

Bruce Smith shows us the most popular posts this week, including the Grey River Dredge and the Waiho Hot Tubs.

Grey River Gold Dredge

Gold miner Allan Birchfield shows us around the Grey River Gold Dredge. It’s a first for me Coasters and at 3500 tons and 6 stories high, it is just stunning.

Waiho Hot Tubs

I was in Franz Josef and called in to see the Waiho Hot Tubs which have now opened to the public. Adam from Bella Vista is the owner and Bruce talked about an opening deal to promote the hot tubs.  The video views were amazing Coasters and the deal well worth a go.

Waiho Hot Tubs awaits you.

I was in Franz Josef and called in to see the Waiho hot tubs which have now opened to the public.Adam from Bella Vista is the owner and we talked about an opening deal to promote the hot tubs.The deal $180 for a couple.You get one night in a mountain view unit at the Bella Vista in Franz Josef and a session for you both in a private Waiho hot tub set in native bush just a couple of minutes walk from your accommodation.The video shows it all.Call Adam on 03-752009 and enjoy.Ask for the Coasters deal

Posted by The Coasters Club on Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Aratuna Freighter’s Update

Aratuna Freighters – a competitive road service throughout the South Island

Aratuna Freighters operate a large configuration of Iveco and Hino trucks and trailers throughout the South Island.

The management and staff take great pride in their company, the whole team working together to see that the freight is delivered on time. They are proud of their consistent commitment and service to their customers, always  offering competitive prices. The company’s Head Office is in Greymouth and the Rural Office is based in Hokitika.

Aratuna Freighters has a comprehensive freight and courier service that covers the whole of the South Island. Here’s what the service and schedule looks like:

General freight overnight to Christchurch – five days a week (Monday to Friday)

General freight to South Westland – four days a week service

Worldwide & Nationwide freight on-forwarding – being the West Coast Branch of Mainfreight we are able to offer this service

Courier Service – ARAMEX Courier Service 5 Days a week.

Bulk Fuel Distribution Service – our BP fuel distribution offers a reliable service of bulk fuel deliveries to farmers, miners and contractors throughout the West Coast including Westport and Karamea areas.

Home heating delivery service – a small truck home heating delivery service for Greymouth and Hokitika Areas.

Refrigerated and frozen freight service – Greymouth to Christchurch & South Westland with a Nationwide on forwarding service available.

Stock Transportation – our service offers reliable, humane cartage of stock to farms or meat works daily

Farming freight requirements – we offer South Island-wide cartage of hay, bulk fertilizer and timber for all farming requirements.

Container swing lifts and hiab services – a West Coast-wide service for all hiab and swing lift container requirements. We can arrange a nationwide forwarding service for containers also.

Wanted now!

Would you like a change ? Come and join the movement to the Coast.

Class five drivers and mechanics are needed to become part of the team at Aratuna Freighters. Call us 0800 756 666

Aratuna Freighters look forward to having the opportunity to quote for all Coast transportation needs. For a quote on freight, fuel or other services they provide, please call their toll-free number 0800 756 666. If you have a rural enquiry, please call the Hokitika team on 03 756 8012.

Meet Murray Molloy

We return to the Aratuna Freighters 2020 Awards at Shanty Town and chat to driver Murray Molloy about his 52 years behind the wheel. He is fighting fit and still going strong.


Coast Characters

On the West Coast Road

We get to talk with Coaster Les Wright.

He gives us a brilliant record of the Great West Coast Road between Greymouth and Westport.

Coast Characters

The history of Okarito

Coaster Anne Hall talks with Jackie Gurden in this 2011 interview where she recounts the history of Okarito in South Westland, New Zealand.

of words, pictures and the arts

Kutuku Pottery

Kutuku Pottery is a pretty special place to visit.

The pottery here is hand-crafted by Ian Dalzell and Sue Pidgeon.

From mugs to sculptures, platters to bowls, all salt-glazed and coal-fired, you will find a piece to suit your taste for sure.  You are welcome to view the studio and workshop too; Ian and Sue look forward to showing you around.

Kutuku Pottery is just minutes from Lake Brunner at 1967 Arnold Valley Road, Moana.  Phone: +64 3 738 0082 or +64 27 490 3283.

Check out their website here.

Delivering the Thursday Poem
, with Mark Raffills

The Sumner Surf Club

Friendship and camaraderie and ‘got-ya-back’; just three of the ingredients for a  rewarding and satisfying life. I was down at Sumner in Christchurch the other day, met up with my cousin Aaron and his early-morning surfing mates. They catch up as many mornings as they can for a surf, a coffee and a bit of ‘bloke counselling’. You can’t ask for much more than that.

The Thursday Poem15 October 2020The Sumner Surf ClubFriendship and camaraderie and ‘got-ya-back’; just three of the ingredients for a rewarding and satisfying life. I was down at Sumner in Christchurch the other day, met up with my cousin Aaron and his early-morning surfing mates. They catch up as many mornings as they can for a surf, a coffee and a bit of ‘bloke counselling’. You can’t ask for much more than that. Visuals by Aaron D, video by Dr Jeff Obadiah Simmonds. Words below.The Sumner Surf ClubTime has paid us out, our dues are up to date you can find us on the ocean riding low, lazy waves that take us through the gate; there is no urgency way out here, we will leave when we are readyand arrive none too late. To the west and norththe mountains of the heart hold up the pale, fragile skythat dangles on the fine lineand draws our distant eye;we tell the true stories of our youthover cups of flat white coffee,and a low, longing sigh.Found somewhere betweentoday and tomorrowand just ahead of yesterday,years of rag and friendshiphold us on crest and dip;we trade on pure joy and laughterand we carve a roughly-straight linefor those who come after.Time has paid us out,we wink at the waitressand jostle for the next shout;of surf and board and swell,we’ll tell you what we know ,this is the language of our fathers,we speak no other tongue,we all ride the low wave,what is finished has just begun.Mark Raffills

Posted by Mark Raffills on Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Chat around the Fire

Ferguson Homestead to be sold

After almost 150 years and three generations of Ferguson family ownership, Ferguson Farms, an iconic South Westland cattle beef breeding and finishing property is to be sold.

The historic property, including a 297ha home farm and a separate 68ha support block at Mikonui, has been listed for sale by auction. The sale follows the death of  Jim Ferguson at the age of 92 in March.

Jim was the son of George and Irene (Butler) Ferguson and grandson of pioneer Samuel George Ferguson, who settled in South Westland in 1873. The family went on to have a significant impact on the life of the West Coast in a number of spheres.

Jim was one of a family of nine, seven boys and two girls, which included eldest brother Mackley, who went on to found Ferguson Bros in the 1940s, George Ferguson, who settled at Waipuna, and Jack who started retail meat in Hokitika.

At Fergusons Bush, Samuel Ferguson built a large two-story home in the early 1880s which was set up as a licensed hotel with accommodation, known as Ferngrove. The hotel closed its doors in the late 1940s and was eventually replaced by the home on the farm where Jim Ferguson resided until his death.

Consisting of the 297ha (158ha effective) home farm, 68ha Mikonui block and 15ha DOC grazing licence and located at each end of the Fergusons Bush scenic reserve, 40kms south of Hokitika on State Highway 6.

Excellent balance of soil types, pastures and productive capability suitable for most farming systems including dairy support. The home block enjoys a full range of farm infrastructure featuring woolshed, sheep yards, cattle yards, implement/hay sheds and fertiliser bin. The homestead consists of a weatherboard 4 bedroom home with multiple living areas and two bathrooms, set in an elevated aspect. The Mikonui block features a covered fertiliser bin and centrally located cattle yards.

Both properties are offered for sale as a total farm package, however the selling agents do invite enquiries for separate purchase options for the Home or Mikonui titles.

Farms of this scale, contour, infrastructure and potential do not often come to the market. In the current low interest rate environment together with firm commodity returns, there is no better time to secure and invest in a quality land holding.

Auction, unless sold prior, 1.00pm Wednesday 25 November 2020 at Hokitika RSA 22 Sewell Street Hokitika. The property is located at 1253 Hari Hari Highway RD 6, Kakapotahi, and consists of 4 bedrooms 2 bathrooms 1 carparking ID HKR78582. Total land area 297.93ha.

Bruce Smith

Ferguson Homestead to be sold

What’s happening on the Coast?

Greymouth Motorcycle Street Race
Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 October 2020
Follow the link for all information and registrations.

WAI presents Anthonie Tonnon – Rail Land
Wednesday 11 November, 2020, 7.30pm.
Old Lodge Theatre, $20.
Book tickets at Hokitika’s Regent Theatre or online here

AgFest 2020
Friday 13 and Saturday 14 November, 2020
Follow the link for all information and registrations.

Ride the Wilderness
Saturday 14 November 2020
Follow the link for all information and registrations.

Horse racing
Westport Trots
Saturday 26 and Monday 28 December 2020
Reefton Trots
Wednesday 30 December 2020
Kumara Races
Saturday 9 January 2021
Follow the link for all information.

Buller Marathon, Half Marathon and Walk
Saturday 13 February 2021
Follow the link for all information and registrations.

Hokitika Wild Foods Festival
Saturday 13 March 2021
Follow the link for all information and tickets.

South Island Ute Muster
Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 July 2021
For information on the 2021 South Island Ute Muster email

For inclusion on these pages please email details of your event and website link to:

What’s happening on the Coast?