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Lyell is the site of a historic gold mining town in the Buller Gorge in the South Island of New Zealand. It lies on State Highway 6.

Photograph of Lyell, taken in circa 1910
Lyell in circa 1910
Lyell is located in West Coast
Coordinates: 41°47′49″S 172°2′54″E / 41.79694°S 172.04833°E / -41.79694; 172.04833Coordinates: 41°47′49″S 172°2′54″E / 41.79694°S 172.04833°E / -41.79694; 172.04833
CountryNew Zealand
RegionWest Coast
DistrictBuller District
 • Total0

Lyell was named by the geologist Julius von Haast after the Scottish geologist Charles Lyell who had popularised that plate tectonics formed mountains, with the locality surrounded by mountain ranges.[1]

The ghost town is now a campsite maintained by the Department of Conservation. None of the original buildings remain but a track from the campsite leads to a cemetery and an old stamping battery.

The gold rush in Lyell was in 1862.[1] A dray road that was built at the time towards the Lyell Saddle is now the start of the Old Ghost Road, an 85 kilometres (53 mi) mountain biking and walking trail connecting with Seddonville close to the West Coast beaches.[2]


  1. ^ a b Russell, Steph (2011). "Lyell". The Prow. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  2. ^ "The Old Ghost Road". Department of Conservation. Retrieved 16 October 2018.

External linksEdit

  •   Media related to Lyell, New Zealand at Wikimedia Commons
  • Lyell Walks Information on historic walking/cycling trails from the Department of Conservation, NZ.