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Kumara

Township on the west side of the Taramakau River, 25 km south of Greymouth. The area around Kumara was overlooked in the 1860s gold rushes, but in 1876 coarse gold was found in glacial gravels, leading to the West Coast’s last major gold rush. There was considerable overburden (a gravel layer above the gold), so hydraulic sluicing was the only feasible way to recover the gold. In the next 20 years huge water races and sludge channels were constructed, and much of the country behind Kumara was sluiced away into the Taramakau River. Mining declined in the late 1890s, but dredging continued in the Taramakau valley until the 1960s.
Meaning of place name
It was named in 1863 by surveyor Arthur Dobson after a distortion of kohimara, the Māori word for the spectacular flowers of the bush lawyer.

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