Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A trip to the beautiful Westcoast of New Zealand, Wed 13 Feb

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
oldbearnews editor
Woke rather late - around 8 - 8.30 am so had a lazy morning and late breakfast.
Having done several hundred K's yesterday, we decided to get some petrol in Greytown and then headed past Hoktika towards Ross - a former gold mining town.  Ross was established in the 1860s, during the West Coast Gold Rush, where it became an important centre for miners. At its largest, the town had around 2,500 inhabitants, but the population declined after local gold-fields were depleted in the early 1870s. Quartz was occasionally mined on Mount Greenland, a nearby ridge, but little more gold was found until two miners discovered a large 3.1-kilogram nugget in 1909, which was later named the "Honourable Roddy Nugget", after Roderick McKenzie, the Minister for Mines at the time.  The town still has original buildings from its hey days and we had previously visited and walked several of the old tailings  / sluices and raceway (water) tracks available.  This time it was more of a refresher visit. Not much had indeed changed since we been there last. Walked across the road from the Info center and saw the local green-stone carver Steve Maitland  ( --->  )  He is another one of the typical local westcoast caracters and we had a long chat about all things relating to Greenstone and Maori rules / customs etc.   Suffice to say he also does some VERY nice carvings - and totally out of our price range. After that we did some Gold panning - where you get given a panning pan with some gravel in it and a "pre-measured" amount of gold to "find" along with one tiny bit of greenstone. Not wanting to visit Shanty-town where you can do the same we decided to "pan" for ourselves  here - and hey presto - surprise surprise we did find some GOLD - all $10 worth. YESSFeeling rich we decided to spend our ill gotten gains at the local "ruddy nugged cafe" were we sat at a solid rimu table - 3 inches thick and 1 square meter.  Nice - and so was the food.  
We heard about the Hokitika George and decided to check this out - so drove back up towards Hokitika and eventually found the George!! It is famous for its blue water - same color as the Lake Tekapo  (due to the Glacial grind grinding up the stones into fine dust). It is also very scenic and had LOTS of Sandflies.  There is at least one Lookout point and yet another Swing-bridge to cross.  From there through a bit of natural bush all the way down to the water itself. We hung around as long as we could, with the anti-sand-fly repellent working only so far.  We even gave some away to the young couple from Chicago, who had no idea what they were about to find out!!  Mamabear then being corralled to being a photographer for yet another touristy couple!! I  'recon there is a market for a 'on-spot' camera man.  Wonder if how much they would pay for a good quality shot of the nice couples in front of the touristy places.  hmmmm Anyhow after the sand-flies had their luncheon meal, we decided to stop on the   Kotorangi incident memorial spot we had zoomed past on the way to the gorge.  From the  Wikipedia file --  on 8 October 1941 Graham confronted a neighbour with a rifle. Later that morning Constable Edward Best, 27, attempted to discuss the matter with Graham but backed off with Graham pointing two rifles out the window at him. Best retreated to Hokitika for back-up and returned to the farm with Sergeant William Cooper, 43, and Constables Frederick Jordan, 26, and Percy Tulloch, 35. Graham fired at them as they approached the house, and Sergeant Cooper and Constables Jordan and Tulloch were killed instantly, Cooper having at least four bullet wounds in his body. Constable Best was also shot and died three days later.  Graham also shot an agricultural instructor, George Ridley, who came to his door, and fled his house. He returned the next evening and killed home guardsmen Richard Coulson and Gregory Hutchison in a firefight. More than 100 police and army personnel searched dense bush for Graham for 12 days, with orders to shoot on sight if they found Graham still armed. On 20 October an injured Graham was shot by Auckland Constable James Quirke as he walked out of the bush carrying his rifle. He died the next day in hospital. Constable Quirke reported Graham told him he was intending to give up that night.  This and a further incident in Lower Hutt eventually led to a change in police Tactics.  A sobering moment in a beautiful spot! On way home we stopped at the local supermarket for some much needed supplies to  'hmm'  actually cook the first meal on our holiday.  Having been told about the   Rapahoe beach we stopped there and spent some time looking for green-stone pebbles.  Found lots of nice stones - but I am sure they are not green.  Some do however have a nice grain / colour!!  Still - it was a nice relaxing long walk on a pebble beach!!The drive home was interrupted with picture stops at various places we had previously earmarked for a return visit if and when the weather was better and / or less salt laden air!  Dinner was cooked and consumed along with the usual crushed grapes.

 From there it was back down to the Beach at Barrytown for the hopefully  better looking sunset.  Sadly still clouds on the horizon so no sun right at the bottom hitting the sea - but being spectacular the 14-20 minutes prior to that.

bear print

0 Leave ur comment here :

◄Design by Pocket