Blue Spur, West Coast

Blue Spur is a locality inland from Hokitika in the Westland District of New Zealand.


Blue Spur stretches from the Tasman Sea in the west about 12 km (7.5 mi) eastwards towards the area of Humphreys and the Blue Spur Range.[1] It can be accessed by road along the "Blue Spur Tourist Drive" from the centre of Hokitika. During the late 1860s, the time of the West Coast Gold Rush, "The Spur" (as the locals always called it) was inhabited by more than 2,500 people. There was a school, several hotels, busy bars and a theater. Since around the year 2000 the area is gradually being rediscovered and repopulated as it offers rural living close to town.


The etymology of the term "blue spur" not well known. The gold diggers of the 1860s gold rush went after the gold "on the spur", i.e. in a great hurry/rush. Alluvial gold may often be found close to a layer of blueish clay. Miners frequently talk about mining down to the "blue clay", thus a "blue spur" could somehow elucidate the hasty process of digging for the gold pursuing a blueish layer of clay. Other potential meanings could refer to a blueish colour of mountains ("blue mountains") as it can be spotted in certain light at distant mountains at this location. Besides these gold rush-related connotations we know about a "blue spur flower" (Plectranthus ciliatus), and the "blue spur" in coats of arms.[2]


  1. ^ Blue Spur States Archived 8 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Red Flag Archived 9 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine