Hokitika part 2


One of the first things we did once we arrived in Hokitika was a visit to the beach to see the iconic driftwood.  It just so happened that the previous week they had had the annual driftwood sculpture competition on the beach with some of the sculptures still visible.

loch nessLoch Ness?

ride em cowboyGetting into the saddle!

relax by the seasome just relax by the sea.

Then, it finally happened!  Roy caught a trout, not a bad size and we had it smoked and eating it in a very short period of time and yes, it was damn delicious.

first fishFirst trout


mmmmand eaten.

However, the excitement of catching the trout must have been too much as later that evening Roy had a fainting spell…..scaring the bejeezers out of Bernice (as well as Pat & Sue who just happened to be with us sharing some trout).  Phone calls to the local Medical Centre, talked to the nurse who then contacted the Dr, oh, did I mention that this was Sunday evening? Anyway, to cut a long story short, it was just one of those things that happens, a sudden drop in blood pressure, but just in case, a check up the next day and all is well.  Another one of these “age related” things!

We spent a total of 5 nights at the Hokitika Motorhome Assn Park,  over the next few days we went out for a tiki tour of a different part of the Coast.  First was a trip to Ross, a gold mining town where we walked around the old mining settlement.

wheel rossWater wheel relic

Once we had wandered around, we headed back to the carpark where we came across a couple of tourists.  THESE are freedom campers that cause all the problems……

tourist 1 tourist 2

Living and sleeping in a car, then washing your dishes at a campervan dump station. Hmm, wonder if she realised what what just dumped down that drain and then washed out with that hose?  Stepping off soap box….. again!

Off from the township was a beautiful, deserted beach.  We had hoped that some of the gold from the town mining’s may have washed down to the beach and would be lying around waiting for the Vannini’s to pick it up.  Alas, no such luck!

ross beachRoss BeachRossHouse in Ross decorated with number plates and other bits.

We stopped in Ross to pick up some free range eggs from a roadside stall when another vehicle and 5th wheeler pulled up in front of us, it happened to be Pat & Sue whom we had met in Franz and played cards with.  We chatted and caught up on the roadside, Pat & Sue were heading to Hokitika and the POP so we would catch up with  them again later.

Our next call  was to the Ross cemetery which just happened to be on top of a hill affording us great views over Ross, the Coast and the surrounding district.

ross cemeteryLooking north over river ross cemetery 3South West to the seaross cemetery 2West over the sea

Next stop,  Lake Mahinapoua, where there is a DOC camp which we thought may be a good spot to stay at some stage.  There just so happened to be a yachting regatta on over the weekend so the place was quite busy.

yachting Lake KaniereLake Mahinapoua

We got chatting to three women who were sitting watching the yachting.  It turns out that they had grandchildren sailing, and they all were staying at the camp in their campervans.  We have met a number of single women (men as well but not in the same numbers) who are travelling around the country in their motorhomes having a great time. Ages range from 40’s through to well into their 80’s, it is really nice to see them out and about enjoying life.

Next stop was  Manunui Beach, accessed through a short bush walk.

manunui 2Looking south

Manunuilooking north

Another day and another trip, this time to Lake Kaniere, and another DOC camp. 

Lake Kaniere

Further on from the Lake are Dorothy Falls

Dorothy Falls 1 dorothy Falls 2

tanninTannin coloured water, a very common sight on the West Coast.

Another day and this time a trip to Goldsborough

bridge 2 This is part of the old road/rail bridge across the Arahura river.  It has been preserved and mounted alongside the new bridge with a very informative set of information panels.

bridge 3 bridge

Arrived at Goldsborough to find … nothing.  Not a sign of the original town and buildings is to be seen. But there was a very good DOC camp alongside the stream. 

whos looking at who And Wekas taking an interest in the visiting population.

The stream is designated as a Gold fossicking site.  As a result there are a number of holes in the riverbed where people have been trying their luck at prospecting.

fossick hole  Typical hole in the riverbed.

As an aside we shall have to return to this area and stay at the DOC camps as they are in great locations and off the main roads.

On the way back from Goldsborough came across an interesting short walk through the bush along a track that passed through a number of tunnels that had been created to get water to sluicing sites.

tunnelFirst tunnel immediately on the side of the road.  Very narrow with signs of the original pick marks still remaining on the sides of the tunnel.

steps typical bush surrounding the path

tunnel 2 The final tunnel bringing one back to the road  

On the way home found a sign on the side of the main road pointing to Seaview so decided to have a look and hope to get a high view of Hokitika and surrounds. 

Hokitika lighthouse Seaview Lighthouse

Instead of finding a viewpoint we found the site of a major Mental Hospital (closed).  It covered 61 ha (150 acres), much larger than  Cherry Farm north of Dunedin.  In 1955, Seaview peaked with 549 patients.  By 1996, there were 100, and when the facility closed in 2009, it was down to 22.  It must have been fairly well self sufficient as it looked like there were remains of power generation plants, gardens, hospital and school rooms. 

Also, surprisingly, there was a memorial to Maori who had been transported from their home regions in the North Island, from the far North through Central North Island and especially from Taranaki.  These people were forcibly removed and transported to Hokitika as were some to Dunedin.

All through the week, we have returned to the park and our van, Pat & Sue parked up next to us, so many enjoyable evenings were spent playing Sequence and talking.  We all left the POP on Wednesday 29th February with us heading for Greymouth. 

2 Responses to “Hokitika part 2”

  1. Glennis and Robin Says:

    hi guys
    really enjoying seeing nz from the comfort of the living room.
    what a wonderful adventure you are enjoying.
    i am into the third week of recuperation from nasty shoulder surgery, hence the lack of capital letters… too hard basket.
    keep the updates coming… going to make a wonderful travel book when you retire!
    keep away from ‘fainting fits’ though…. and work on the trout.

  2. Bev and Murray Thompson Says:

    Hi Roy and Bernice,
    Since returning home for a short (well we are hoping it will be short) stay we have been enjoying your journey and reliving some memories of our adventures on the coast however, the TROUT was the highlight for us – well done and well deserved for consistent perseverance Roy. By the way I finally got the big one at Smiths Way 5.5 lb but didn’t find my original fly !!
    Relax man – and keep the ‘flutters’ away ….. enjoy your travels.

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