Hokitika Gorge

The Clock Tower

PB  had some commitments in a little town (or here for some different opionions) a bit south of us yesterday, so he had a day off work to carry them out. I took a day off housework  😮   and went with him.  We got our morning’s  ‘stuff’ done then took off to have lunch. We went for the bread and cheese alfresco option on the beach front. Why wouldn’t you – with views like below and a perfect day after two weeks of rain falling, drizzling, pelting, torrenting  or pouring down  – depending on its mood on the day I assume!

Lunchtime views

Also during out lunch break I finally got my overseas Christmas cards in the mail, the travel bug for the HooHaa TB race posted, and a couple of Postcrossing cards winging their way to ‘ foreign parts’.

After our afternoon commitments we had a couple of hours spare, which is plenty of time for a 60 km drive and a little walk, so off we went in search of this cache: GCGH57

We’d been admiring the distant snow-capped mountains all day, so had to stop for a snapshot along the way:

West Coast dairy farmland with Southern Alps behind

The place we were heading – Hokitika Gorge  had over the last few years been the subject of a long drawn-out wrangle  about whether a suspended walkway in the treetops was going to be built there. Fortunately in the end, the speculators lost their case.    Hokitika Gorge is a unique location with an extra-ordinary serenity and atmosphere. That very character that makes it such a special place to visit would have been lost if hundreds of tourists had been allowed to visit, never mind the destruction to the environment that would have happened for the construction to take place.  Below are some pictures. It is one of those places you have to go though, to really know how it feels.

View from Lookout

View from Swingbridge

Looking up Towards Lookout

Anyway, we found the cache after a wee bit of a hunt, carried out a bit of maintenance on it that we had been aware it would need. (But sadly discovered our good deeds were in vain due to the container not sealing properly, and in the manner of ‘everything but the kitchen sink,’ we’d come prepared for anything short of replacing a container. Ah well……)

Might be a cache in here somewhere......

In another of those ‘ things that you see on a caching expedition’ moments, on our return to town we found we had to go the long way around due to a train apparently stopped across the intersection – very odd. We went around the long way, as you do in such situations, got to the other side – where we wanted to be and PB went off to get our dinner while I photographed.  It appeared that the train was broken down, but on PB’s return the local gossip had enlightened him to the fact that it had jumped the tracks.  And that this was the second time this week that it had happened.  We drove back to where we were hanging out by a different street, past the train engine, and yes indeed, there was the front and left side of it plowed into the gravel on the side of the rails.  A most unbecoming position for a well behaved train!  (Unfortunately we could not really stop to get a photo of that.)

Misbehaving train

We finished up what we were doing and packed up to leave town, not before taking a photo of the church tower next door catching the last of the sun.

Catching the sunset.

And so we went home to a raucous canine welcome after 14 hours away.  (The cat didn’t really care one way or the other. But that’s what you get, from a cat.)

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3 responses to “Hokitika Gorge

  1. The gorge looks beautiful!! The water looks interesting… but pretty! (is that “swimable” water?)

  2. Hi Erica,
    I’ve not seen anyone swimming. There is only one little spot where you can get down to water level – the rest of this area has the steep cliffs so it would be very difficult to get out again. I suspect the water is really cold too. Usually in NZ water is this blue colour if the river comes from a glacier – the colour is caused by tiny suspended particles of ground up rock. So looks pretty- but you probably wouldn’t want to be in it!

    Annie

  3. Some great photos to go with this post. The train thing is interesting … you would think if it jumped tracks once, they would figure out why it happened. Then it happens again. Someone isn’t doing his/her job!