Story: West Coast region

Glaciation in the Taramakau valley

During glacial periods a major glacier extended down the Taramakau River valley. This map shows the extent of the glacier in the later part of the last glaciation, about 18,000–20,000 years ago. Alluvial gold was concentrated in river gravels in front of the glacier, and one of the richest areas was near Kumara. Click on the thumbnail to see a photograph of the Kaniere dredge working these gravels.

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Source: R. P. Suggate and T. E. Waight, Geology of the Kumara-Moana area. Geological map 24. Lower Hutt: Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, 1999

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How to cite this page:

Simon Nathan, 'West Coast region - Geology and landscapes', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 September 2023)

Story by Simon Nathan, updated 1 Sep 2016