Early on limestone was sent by train from Lune River, using the same wharf that timber was exported from Hastings. All access was originally by water, with the two communities of Lune River and Hastings separated by a long, narrow tongue of land, and boat-building became a significant industry in the area, with coal once exported via Hastings. Here too, a eucalyptus oil distillery operated briefly. By necessity, people grew vegetables, fruit-orchards and livestock for food, with hunting and fishing an essential part of life as well as providing income. The discovery of the Hastings dolomite caves by timber workers(1917), led to the early development of tourism.
There are few remaining houses or structures of this early European period of history and the population is much reduced, though in the last 20-30 years, there has been a slow migration of people back to the area. Historic Ida Bay Railway operates from here and the café is open most days.