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Ahaura, Grey, South Island, New Zealand
Ahaura River

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General Information

Ahaura Township is the main service centre on the south side of the Grey Valley, popular for outdoor activities.

A large portion of the river flats and adjacent low terrace ground has been developed for pastoral farming. Pastoral farming on the floodplains and low terraces has grown in importance and today is the major activity. Moss harvesting and possum hunting have also been significant in the local economy at times.

A substantial part of the dissected hill country has been converted from indigenous to exotic forest. The exotic forests are managed by Timberlands West Coast Ltd. The remainder of the high terrace and dissected hill country and the mountainous areas are in indigenous forest and are managed by the Department of Conservation.

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Ahaura, Grey, South Island, New Zealand.
Ahaura Gallery & Community Hall

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Attractions and Activities

There are a number of popular outdoor activities in the area.
These include trout fishing, hunting and jet boating. Game animals include deer, goats, pigs, possums, and ducks.

Jet boating can be undertaken on the Grey and Ahaura Rivers.


There is a general store, church, craft shop, garage, transport company, hotel, school, preschool, community hall and postal agency. Accommodation in Ahaura is available at the hotel, The Academy Homestay and Ahaura Domain Camping Ground.

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Ahaura, Grey, South Island, New Zealand
Ahaura Domain Camp.

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Ahaura, Grey, South Island, New Zealand
Main Street on SH7

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1863 Mr. G.W.H. Lee made an overland trip from Canterbury with Ngai Tahu chief Tainui. As a consequence he took up and stocked a run at Ahaura.

1864/65 Discovery of gold in the area and hundreds of gold diggers arrived en masse creating wealth and stimulating a variety of other activities.

From the late 1880’s sawmilling replaced gold mining as the area’s major activity and it continued on a large scale until most of the easily accessible timber had been logged.

In the early days land transport was difficult in the Grey Valley, the main road frequently being in poor condition. The situation improved with the completion of the railway between Stillwater and Reefton in the 1890’s.