Kumara is located close to junction of the State Highway linking Greymouth and Hokitika with Christchurch. The township had a resident population of 309 at the 2013 census while there has been some significant subdivisions and construction of new dwellings in the immediate area in recent years.
The town is located some 25 kms from Greymouth in the North and Hokitika in the South and has a colourful history being a former gold mining town where many people came to seek their fortune, particularly the Irish. Many of the residents today are descendents of these early miners. The town was also home to Richard John Seddon, Premier of the Liberal Government from 1893 until his death in 1906.
The Kumara Racecourse hosts one of the most popular race meetings held in New Zealand when the Kumara Gold Nuggets are run for in January each year. Many Coasters return to meet with family and friends and enjoy the convivial atmosphere generated by the many tents and BBQ’s which carry on until late in the night.
The racecourse is also the base in February each year for the Coast to Coast endurance race where competitors cycle, kayak and run from the Tasman Sea at Kumara Junction to the Pacific Ocean at Sumner. There is a one day event for the elite athletes, with the winning time generally being around 11-12 hours, for a trip that takes three and a half hours in a car, while other individuals and teams can also enter the two day event which is still very challenging and daunting. The 2009 Event was the 25 year and it continues to grow in popularity with a large waiting list each year. The Kumara community has always provided the prerace dinner for all involved and the reviews on the fare provided are always very positive and appreciative. This could only be achieved by a group with a strong community spirit as there are many hours of preparation put in the weeks prior to the event.
There is plenty to do in the area surrounding Kumara with magnificent fishing in the Taramakau River, surfcasting in the Tasman Sea while the tramper or walker has plenty of options to choose from.
View the Kumara Community Website.
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