Saturday, November 13, 2010

South Island - Our Intrepid Journey Day 368 – 389 21 October 2010 – 11 November 2010

South Island - Our Intrepid Journey Day 368 –  389
21 October 2010 – 11 November 2010

This blog is best viewed in conjunction with Raewyn's email episode that corresponds with the same days and dates.  If you don’t get that email let us know.  There are a great deal more pics taken at places mentioned and places in between.  At some of the locations where pics have been taken from there were geocaches.  For interest these have been identified with GC. If you want to know about geocaching check out  

(NOTE:  If you have any trouble with pics ‘fully showing let me know   Also if you double click on the pic it should show completely.)

This part of the journey starts at Lake Argyle that is about 40km before St Arnaud on the Blenhein / Murchison road.
From a previous visit you can see the remnants of winter.
This trip the lake was quiet and calm.  One of our favourite trout fishing destinations.  This pic was taken from the campsite looking northward.

Unfortunately we were the last ones in New Zealand to camp here.  As we left the gate was locked for two months as they chop down all the pine trees that you can see in the pic.  The campsite it in the far distance at the head of the lake.

From Lake Argyle it was off to St Arnaud and Lake Rotoiti.  Sometimes a little slow, we’ve got time.
Lake Rotoiti is well worth a visit and a stay if you have time. gc
Like all mother, it’s kids off for bath time.
There are some really nice walks around Lake Rotoitigc
The journey towards Westport continues along the side of the Buller River gc

One stop on the way, a short walk from the road, is at the only falls/rapids on the Buller River,
Ariki Falls.  Doesn’t really much at this time. gc
Not far from Ariki Falls is the remnants of the Lyell gold mining area.  gc

 A walk through the bush in the subdued light 
Brings you to the Lyell old cemetery in the bush. 
 From the cemetery the walk follows the Lyell Stream up to the old gold mining areas. gc
 Arriving at Westport we positioned ourselves for the view at Les Warren Park.
Which suited the locals looking for a few scraps.
A walk around town soon reminds you of its coal mining heritage. gc
 None more so that a tour of the 6000 acres Stockton Mine.
And the size of some of the machinery used.
Many days the tour doesn’t run due to the altitude where mist and cloud becomes a problem.
Cape Foulwind.  The western most point of New Zealand. gc
 Heading south took us past Punakaiki.  Unfortunately we didn’t strike the tide and sea right to get a good show of the blow holes. gc
A larger sea would have made it all the more spectacular.  Having said that it was well worth the stop.
For the residents the calm weather was probably welcome.
Close to Punakaiki on the main road
 Was a small pool of water
That provided some real nice reflection pics.
The bridge over the Pororari river is typical of many on the West Coast. gc
However this one had a place of interest to explore.  This is the tunnel seen from the previous pic. 
Including a nice walk along the river. gc
Ever seen the Kiekie in flower?  The fruit which is ready in May was highly prized by Maori.
The night stop was at Greymouth.
Apparently they are somewhat of a landmark.
One the Greymouth / Reefton road is the historic Brunner Coal Mine Site. gc
 Some of the bridge structure made for interesting pics.
 Further on the way to Nelson Creek we stopped for a geocache that was located near this old train that was used during the logging days. gc
 Another walk in the area took us to what is purported to be the biggest Rimu tree in New Zealand.  It’s big! The pic doesn’t do it justice. 
 This may not be a rimu but it was interesting anyway. 
Local humour.  The actual road sign was Trigon Road.
 Stayed a couple of nights off the road at Slab Hut Creek.  The South Island Robbin is so friendly.
Don’t see to many of these though.
Called in to find a geocache at Blacks Point just out of Reefton and we got a tour of a working stamping battery. gc

Heading back to Greymouth on the other side of the Grey River we called into Blackball made famous by their tussle with the Hilton group. gc
An interesting Bar-B-Q made from a large saw blade and a gold dredge bucket.
All through this area the history of coal mining is so apparent. gc
This part of the journey ends at Lake Haupiri. gc
Lake Haupiri is home to interesting birdlife like this Grebe
Where we spent the night on the roadside hoping for some luck.
Until next blog then ......................!