Glentunnel & Coalgate
Location: 1 hour west of Christchurch on State Highway 77
Coalgate has an interesting history, first as a reputed resting place for Maori on eeling expeditions or travelling to the West Coast, and then as the 'gate' to the coalfields in the Malvern Hills.
The 1950s saw the advent of commercial processing of bentonite - a very fine clay used in oil drilling sites as a lubricant, and in boot polish, toothpaste and cosmetics.
Today many of the residents, while enjoying the country life, commute to Christchurch each day.
Nearby Glentunnel township has a close historical association with local coalmines, potteries and brickworks of the Glentunnel/South Malvern area. This association, which continued until the 1980s, can still be seen in the brick community buildings including the library and stable, and many of the miners’ cottages are still lived in today.
The camping grounds, beside the Selwyn River, are popular with Christchurch campers.