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This work by Caroline McQuarrie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Lyell, situated on the Buller River in ‘North West Nelson’ (north of the Grey river) was the first gold rush on the West Coast in 1862, however the inaccessibility of the place meant only about 300 people ‘rushed’. While hardy prospectors continued to work Lyell creek and surrounding areas, the town really came into its own in the 1870’s when the gold locked in quartz reefs was able to be extracted by companies set up to mine the quartz and crush the gold out of it, establishing towns up the valley behind the main township. Only one house now stands across the road from the main town site, which is a DOC camping ground. Further reading about Lyell.