• Patrick McBride

Kumara Gold Nuggets: West Coast Wonder

Caitlin O'Sullivan

Kumara’s population of 300 is set to skyrocket today – with an estimated 5000 – 8000 people coming into town for the iconic Kumara Gold Nuggets Raceday.

A day steeped in history and a permanent fixture in the summer plans of many, learn a little more about the Kumara Gold Nuggets:

Up for a quick history lesson?

It all started in December of 1887, the first raceday at Kumara was set to run! Mr. Henry Burger, mayor of Kumara at the time and the club’s first president, declared a public holiday. Fast-forward to 1940 and it was decided that an annual raceday would be run in January, where it has remained for the past 81 years.

The feature race of the day, the Kumara Gold Nuggets, is run not only for prize money but the winning connections also receive (you guessed it!) gold nuggets.

Looking to attend the Kumara Races the day?

There’s something for everyone at this family friendly event. Foodies: Sample a taste of the West Coast between races, with an abundance of food trucks serving local delicacies (whitebait included!). Fashionistas: Strut your stuff in the fashions in the field competition. Groovers: Rejoice! With not one but THREE live bands playing throughout the day (including the well-known Kokatahi Band), you’re spoilt for choice. Kids: Get stuck into the circus of free children’s entertainment on offer. Racing enthusiasts: Let’s not state the obvious…

If you’re after a tent spot, we’re afraid you’ve left your run too late! The raceday has proved ever-popular again and a bumper crowd is expected this Saturday. Not to panic though, there are general admission tickets still available.

Your need-to-knows:

Gates open at 9am.

The racing will get underway at 12.27pm, with the last set to run at 5.08pm.

A general admission ticket will set you back $15, with children under 15 enjoying free entry.

Transport from Greymouth to Kumara is available from the Speights Ale House at 10am.