Riverton to Waikawa

Friday we spent around Riverton including a visit to the museum, which we might add is well worth a visit with a fabulous interpretation of local history.  Add this to your must see list if you are in the area.   

riverton harbourRiverton Harbour

pauaThe big Paua in Riverton

The above photos were taken on Saturday morning.  Weather obviously not too bad, cold with a good stiff breeze.

However …

Stopped for some groceries on the way back to the racecourse.  Walked back outside and was confronted with a white blanket of hail.

hailMain Street Riverton.

All the way back out to the racecourse was similar.  Arrived back and within ten minutes we were having a good sleet shower.

sleetSleet

Enough!!! Time to go.  The weather was definitely not improving so we decided to pack up and head for the other side of Invercargill.  We started off in rain with a light wind, getting colder and colder as we approached Invercargill, with a good covering of snow on the ground by the time we got into Invercargill.

Heading on through we ended up at Gorge Road, a small settlement  25kms from Invercargill.  We stayed at the Gorge Road Club, settling in for a day or two to get a few things done and to check out the area.

For the rest of Saturday we just battened down the hatches and retreated to reading and listening to the wind.  Fortunately we were parked in a very protected spot beside a tall hedge which kept the rain and wind at bay.

Sunday and it was time to venture forth.  We had no internet access and so decided to explore to see if we could find some.  Ended up in Edendale sitting on the side of the road.  Good reception but not very comfortable in the car.

Spotted in Edendale were these three obviously enjoying life.

animaliaGiraffe, elephant with monkey on his back!

Later that day Roy ventured out to the Waituna Wetlands, an internationally recognised wetlands of importance.  Not great afternoon weatherwise but good enough to get a good impression of the area.

There was a walking track to an interpretation and observation site.  This was amongst manuka, flax, bracken and low growing shrubs on a boardwalk.

waituna 3Boardwalk leading to lookout

fernUp periscope! bracken looking for somewhere to grow

 

manukaManuka flowers

waituna 4view over the Lagoon from the lookout.

waituna 2The open beach on the far side of the lagoon looking South

tied downAnd in recognition of the slightly breezy weather in these parts, the toilet is tethered to the ground.

As an aside we have come across a large number of these toilets.  Without exception they have been tidy, clean, well maintained and in almost all cases have had toilet paper.  They are manufactured in Nelson and are in a lot of the DOC areas as well as being provided by a number of Councils in public parks.

Unfortunately, there was no cell phone or internet connection around Gorge Road.  So by the time Monday came around, we decided to head into Invercargill to get some laundry done, shop for groceries, check the cell phones and check emails.  Roy had work to do as well so most of the day was spent in Invercargill. 

Tuesday was more of the same except when we returned to Gorge Road we packed and left to go to the Catlins.  Our intent was to make our way through to Keirs Beach where we were told there was good camping.  Stop at Tokanui for the dump station,  windy and windy road,  narrow and dusty.

Arrived at Keirs, wind, no stabilisers, good ground.  The stabilisers have now been on the blink for three days.  They first started giving trouble in Riverton where the simple act of driving from one side of the parking area to the other resulted in the stabilisers becoming partially inoperative and intermittent.  We will get them seen to as soon as we reach civilisation.

keirs bay 2Parked at Keirs Beach.

estuaryLooking down on the estuary at Keirs beach.

first flax flowersHaving seen an enormous number of flax bushes throughout southern Southland, this is the first we have seen flowering.  It would be interesting to be here when they are all in full flower the number of Tuis and Bellbirds must be impressive.

In the estuary there are a significant number of different wading birds.  The prize of these must be the Royal Spoonbills of which there is obviously a colony hereabouts.  There were at least nine appearing at each low tide.  They were joined by a pair of Godwits probing the mud flats for breakfast and dinner.  These were joined by Oyster Catchers, gulls ducks and a couple of smaller waders I had no knowledge of.

spoonbillsThe estuary at low tide, spoonbills fishing in the shallows.

 

hanging onA Manuka tree which has had its roots washed partially out of the bank at the water’s edge.  It us still growing with a very tenuous hold in the bank.

Wednesday we made our way to Waikawa to have a look at Curio Bay, Porpoise Bay and the Niagara Falls. On the way we travelled on a metal road for most of the distance.  Bernice becoming a little concerned that the road was becoming more difficult as we progressed.  The speed on corners gradually diminishing as we went.  Fortunately it was reasonably flat but subject to tidal inundation in places.

3535 kph here

 

race25 here, but this time we were led to the corner by a mother and her off spring.

25 1Opps down to 25 now

 25and again

Finally arrived at Waikawa and decided to stay at the Community Hall parking area.  Once we were safely parked we then took off in the car for a look at Curio Bay and Niagara.

At the camping ground above Curio Bay we spotted this sea-lion having a break from the water in a sheltered place next to a derelict concrete building.  The sea lion is all of two  to two and a quarter metres long.

sealion 2

sealionNow we are noticed

On the way into Curio Bay there is an example of the use of Flax as a wind break. Here either side of the track is protected from the usual Southerly wind by rows of Flax on either side.  Throughout  our southern coast travels we have seen flax windbreaks used extensively as one would see gorse in other parts of New Zealand.

flax

Looking down on the remnants of a 170 million year old forest

logs 1the trunks of trees are very obvious from this height.

logs 2and here

logs 3A close up of one of the trunks showing the mineralisation that has preserved the features of the tree

logs 5and another

porpoise bay 2Porpoise Bay looking toward Curio Bay headland.

 

Then we drove off to see Niagara Falls

niagara 2Looking down on the falls from the lookout

niagara 1and a closer view

Not quite in the same class as the North American version.  Obviously an early surveyor had a sense of humour!

In the estuary in Waikawa came across an unusual channel marker.

 bicyccle just in case you need to ride home after mooring the boat!

 decor Decorative gates are a feature of several properties in the area.

 early morning waikawa 1  The jetties in the estuary at dawn

permanent A permanent visitor to this letterbox.

Off to Okawa tomorrow.

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