Inangahua Junction

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Inangahua Junction
New Zealand State Highway 6 passing through Inangahua Junction
New Zealand State Highway 6 passing through Inangahua Junction
Inangahua Junction is located in West Coast
Inangahua Junction
Inangahua Junction
Coordinates: 41°51′27″S 171°57′8″E / 41.85750°S 171.95222°E / -41.85750; 171.95222Coordinates: 41°51′27″S 171°57′8″E / 41.85750°S 171.95222°E / -41.85750; 171.95222
CountryNew Zealand
RegionWest Coast
DistrictBuller District
Population (2006)
 • Total159
The milk tanker arrives, Inangahua Junction 1978.

Inangahua Junction is a small town in the northwest of New Zealand's South Island. It is located at the confluence of the Inangahua and Buller Rivers, 34 kilometres (21 mi) north of Reefton and 46 kilometres (29 mi) southeast of Westport. Murchison is 52 kilometres (32 mi) to the east. The town of Inangahua is just to the east of the junction.[1][2] The town's main industries include forestry, coal, farming and sawmilling. There is a small primary school, shops, fire station and earthquake museum. The population was 159 in the 2006 census, an increase of 9 people from 2001.[3] The name of the town refers to inanga, the Māori word for whitebait. Inangahua Junction was formerly known as Christies Junction.


Inangahua Junction bridge after the 1968 earthquake

The town was substantially affected by an earthquake on Friday, 24 May 1968. At 5:24 am, the earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale struck the town, and many landslides and aftershocks followed. The entire population of around 100 was temporarily evacuated. There were no fatalities in the town, but a woman and her visiting mother were killed when the house they were in, along the Inangahua Junction to Westport road, was crushed by a landslide on the cliffs above their house,[4] while a man died near Greymouth when his car hit a section of road on that suddenly subsided on the run-up to a bridge.[5] Another three died days later when a helicopter surveying downed telephone lines crashed.[6]


Inangahua Junction is located on the Stillwater - Westport Line railway, and was intended to be the junction of this line with the never-completed Nelson Section. In 1914, the railway was opened to Inangahua Junction from its former terminus in Cronadun, but subsequent progress through the Buller Gorge was slow. In July 1942, trains began running the full length of the line between Stillwater and Westport, but the line was not officially opened until 5 December 1943. With the commencement of through services, passenger trains were operated by RM class Vulcan railcars, which connected in Stillwater with services that ran along the Midland Line between Greymouth and Christchurch. In 1967, the passenger services ceased, and today, the primary traffic is coal, with multiple coal trains passing through Inangahua Junction daily. Today the town is served by the daily inter city bus between Nelson and Westport.

PHAT Music Festival[edit]

Inangaha was the host of the PHAT New Year's Eve music festivals. PHAT07, PHAT08, PHAT09, PHAT10 (with Australian band Pendulum and NZers Black Seeds, Kora, Salmonella Dub, Tiki and Concord Dawn),[7] PHAT11 featured New Zealand and many international acts. PHAT is held on flat clearings surrounded by native bush on Rough Creek Road, off Browns Creek Road, south of Inangahua and owned by the Storer family. Approximately 5000 people attend the PHAT music festivals, with 48+ hours of continuous performance on two stages.

The other annual event held on the Inangahua site was PHAT MOON, a slightly smaller version of the bigger New Year's Eve's event. PHAT MOON was held over Easter weekend. The music runs for 24 hours, but people are invited to come and camp the night before. This ceased quite a few years ago; the site has returned to being a farm.


Inangahua Junction School is a coeducational contributing primary (years 1–6) school with a decile rating of 6 and a roll of 9.[8] The school was in existence in 1887.[9]

Inangahua College merged with Reefton School to form Reefton Area School in 2004.[10] The College, which existed for 38 years, replaced the Reefton District High School.[11]


  1. ^ Peter Dowling (editor) (2004). Reed New Zealand Atlas. Reed Books. map 64. ISBN 0-7900-0952-8.
  2. ^ Roger Smith, GeographX (2005). The Geographic Atlas of New Zealand. Robbie Burton. map 141. ISBN 1-877333-20-4.
  3. ^ Quickstats about Inangahua Junction
  4. ^ "GeoNet – M 7.1, Inangahua, May 24, 1968". GeoNet. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  5. ^ Callan, John (24 May 1998). "The day the earth moved in Inangahua". Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  6. ^ McIntyre, Brian. "Story: Inangahua Earthquake". West Coast New Zealand History. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Phat 10 festival underway". NZ Herald. NZPA. 30 December 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  8. ^ "Te Kete Ipurangi - Inangahua Junction School". Ministry of Education.
  9. ^ "Nelson Education Board Exam Schedules - Inangahua Junction 1887-1900".
  10. ^ "School Mergers, Closures and New Schools" (XLS). Education Counts. 2004.
  11. ^ "District School Reunion" (PDF). 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-05-26.

External links[edit]