This once-thriving-now-sleepy old coalmining town was the birthplace of the New Zealand Labour Party
and a hotbed of worker militancy.
Today, the town’s claim to fame is its time-capsule hotel, Formerly the Blackball Hilton
. The ‘formerly’ came after the Hilton Hotel brand got wind of the wry Kiwi joke and spewed forth legal threats.
Have a drink in the bar with locals and peruse the decades of history plastered all over the walls in newspaper clippings, photos and memorabilia. Or stay the night and listen for ghosts in the famously haunted community centre nearby. Stuff
calls it ‘west coast hospitality at its best’.