Surrounding the historic west coast town of Reefton, the rugged and mountainous Victoria Conservation Park covers 209,000 hectares. The park contains some of New Zealand's finest native beech forest, as well as relics from the gold rush that brought fame and fortune to the area more than a hundred years ago.A steep and winding bullock track from Reefton to the site of the Big River mine makes a fascinating wilderness trail for mountain bikers and four-wheel drive enthusiasts. For hikers, the Big River Track from Waiuta follows an old pack track to the mine. This track also offers bikers an alternative return route. This is a two-day overnight adventure - a 30-bed Department of Conservation hut is located at the old Big River mining township.A couple of the old houses remain and some of mining equipment has been restored. You'll be amazed by the extraordinary lengths people went to when the promise of gold was in the air. A side track from the township leads to an old dam and sawmill. Some visitors like to allow an extra day to thoroughly explore the surrounding area.