A cozy getaway in Reefton at the Brewer’s Night Inn

This Victorian-inspired cabin is one of New Zealand's cutest stays

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One of the coolest things about being a travel blogger is meeting the most interesting people. And that’s coming from someone who doesn’t consider herself a people person. Hello, fellow introverts!

Years ago, when a friend visited overseas, I booked a super cute Airbnb on Waiheke Island. New Zealand’s hot wine destination had been beckoning me for years. Afterwards, I stayed friends with the Airbnb owner, Tim. When he turned one of the oldest homes in Reefton into a Gold Rush-era-inspired getaway, you bet I was going to be the first one there. 

 Cozy getaway? Little fire? Historical? The West Coast? Tell me more!

Over the years, my travel style has evolved. Growing up, I did not travel much. As soon as I could pay my way, I would city-hop as much as possible. I wanted to see it all. By my thirties, I had slowed right down. Happy to take my time, my values swapped over to slowing down, even returning again and again to the places I love the most. Often the places I stayed would be the destinations themselves. 

And the West Coast of New Zealand hasn’t stopped calling to me in a decade.

Brewer's Night Inn

Brewer's Night Inn

The Brewer’s Night Inn is unlike any place I’ve stayed before. The Victorian vibe is strong inside, but don’t worry—you don’t have to share it with other guests. Formerly the home of legendary brewer Stewart Monteith (Monteith’s is a super well-known beer in New Zealand), it’s been lovingly renovated from the original 1870s cabin.

Carefully crafted, it mimics what the old 19th-century golden mine cabins likely looked like here on the South Island but with modern comforts. From 1864 to 1867, thousands flocked to the West Coast. Here, once gold was discovered, it didn’t take long for prospectors to follow. 

In 1866, Hokitika was the biggest settlement in New Zealand, with a population of more than 25,000 and more than 100 pubs. Considering the entire population of the West Coast is only 30,000-ish today, it’s hard to imagine. And if you’ve ever been to Hokitika today, it’s even harder to imagine. I think maybe there are four pubs there.

Blink, and you might miss it; Reefton is about an hour and a half north and inland. The first quartz reefs with gold were found in Reefton in 1870. This earned it the nickname “Reef Town,” aka Reefton today. 

Brewer's Night Inn

Brewer's Night Inn

Reefton was so important that it was the first town in New Zealand AND the Southern Hemisphere with electricity and street lights, earning it the moniker “Town of Light.” But like Hokitika and many other gold mining towns, once the supply ran dry, so did the town. 

Nowadays, less than a thousand Kiwis call Reefton home, though it’s starting to come back with a few cool investment projects, like the launch of the Reefton Distillery Co’s crowdfunding campaign a few years ago, bringing people to this quiet town. Their first spirit that was launched was called Little Biddy Gin, inspired by Bridget Goodwin, a big-drinking, four-foot-tall gold miner.

Still relatively undiscovered, Reefton is the perfect place to hide away for a little holiday. There are tons of walks and things to do nearby. Mass tourism definitely hasn’t hit here yet. 

Brewer's Night Inn

A sleepy historic mining town, Reefton has had a bit of a renaissance over the past few years. It’s a place I’ve always passed through but never stayed the night. For someone who works a lot, it was so nice to snuggle away at Brewer’s Night Inn for a few days. I had so many plans to tramp and explore. But in the end, I mostly just hung out on the sofa reading by the fire. This is my kind of holiday.

So many thoughtful touches go above and beyond what you might expect from a stay like this. A huge concrete soak tub, copper furnishings, snuggly linen, historic Rimu timber walls with newsprint and vintage wallpaper, cozy lighting, a hidden wardrobe, and a big brown leather sofa that will make you want never to leave. Did I mention it’s pet-friendly?

The Brewer’s Night Inn has a music room with a century-old West Coast piano, turntable and epic stereo system, and carefully curated seasonal music. Considering my taste in music tends towards Taylor Swift and Shakira, this was somewhat lost on me, but as someone who loves travel and unique spaces, this room blew me away!

Only a few minutes walk towards the main street in Reefton, everything about my stay here was perfect. You bet I’ll be back!

Brewer's Night Inn

Brewer's Night Inn

Many thanks to the Brewer’s Night Inn for hosting me in Reefton – like always, I’m keeping it real – all opinions are my own like you could expect less from me

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