A-Z of NZ Locations, New Zealand

A-Z of NZ Locations: Barrytown

In my series of A-Z of NZ Locations, I will take you for a meander around areas that are unique gems, some yet to be polished though worth a visit for either historical reasons, culinary delights or for the sheer vistas.

With my second location, we head down the Motu to the South Island Wild West Coast. B is for Barrytown, a small settlement, more like a village than a town. Visitors have commented, “don’t blink, or you will miss it “.

It’s located on a thin strip of farmland between the sea and the Paparoa mountains. The township was founded in the 1860s, during the gold rush era. With a population of 2000 during the gold rush, the town was bustling with eleven hotels, and the All Nations Hotel is its only surviving hotel.

Recently, there have been media articles regarding the re-establishment of mining in this small community; for their sake, I hope not.

Nowadays, you will find artisans than miners. Even with improved roading and modern transport, it’s still a remote part of New Zealand where being self-efficient would be a priority. The town is surrounded by luscious native bush, so hunting would attract hunters, and the ocean would cover a bounty of fishing activities.

The vistas are excitingly wild as the town sits in the region of Paparoa and near the southern end of Pakiroa Beach, where small greenstone (pounamu) pebbles have been washed into the sea from rivers and then naturally polished by wave action can be found on occasions. Then there is Paunakaiki, with impressive pancake rocks, a formation similar to the Devil’s Causeway in Ireland.

A place to be invigorated by nature and to experience good old Southern Hospitality.

27 thoughts on “A-Z of NZ Locations: Barrytown”

  1. Hello Suzanne,
    Greetings from the other side of Earth. I have just breezed through a few of your blog posts and enjoyed your photography. I couldn’t help but notice that you might be a “map nerd” like me. New Zealand is on my bucket list and got bumped up a notch when I traveled there vicariously with John Guzzwell.
    I just finished reading the account of his 4 year solo circumnavigation in his 20 foot long yawl which he built in Victoria, BC, Canada. He, his wife Maureen and two sons lived in Russell, NZ (North Island – Bay of Islands) for a few years in the late 1960’s. Cheers from Vermont, USA to another fellow traveler. Stewart

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting, Stewart. We currently don’t travel though have clocked up many kms in previous years. Now, we are enjoying living in the Bay of Plenty and all that has to offer.
      I hope you do get the opportunity to head down to New Zealand which I am sure you will enjoy exploring.


    1. I didn’t particularly enjoy the West Coast on our first visit as we, unfortunately, got a motel room that was very damp with a musty smell. High rain fall around this area during most seasons.
      Then during the motorhome years, our visits were enjoyable and the big bonus was we had our own bed.


  2. These are the sort of places I like to find when travelling. I’m not so keen on the typical tourist attractions. I only wish I had managed to get over to your stunning country when I was much younger and had time to meander around the two islands, but then I had neither money nor time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I am with you regarding going to less touristy destinations. The West Coast is unique and definitely a place to spend time exploring. Travelling years ago was far more expensive and usually only a selected few ventured across the other side of the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a fascinating shape, New Zealand, isn’t it? So many coves and cliffs, wiggling all down the islands. Longer than I thought too. I was trying to compare driving times top to bottom with the UK but it’s not a fair comparison. It’s certainly very beautiful, Suzanne. Why would you ever leave?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You could be right Jude and when I get time I will find out and let you know. Oh, don’t mention the ferry crossing as it’s becoming a right nuisance to use lately due to weather and less ferries available.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a fascinating shape and your comment made me examine it more. Here’s a tweet from an ex Prime Minister which gives you a bit of an idea that NZ isn’t so small after all. Many NZers are nomadic type people that love to explore though we always return home like good wee kiwis.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am with you, Eilene, regarding the desire to get away to somewhere remote, wild and scenic. One day, though in the meantime I am loving our local area for recreational pursuits.

      Liked by 1 person

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