Monday 30 April 2012: A Schooner called Tambo
Leaving our little Rimu cottage and the Buller Region of the West Coast, we continued to travel south entering the Central West Coast Region, another paradise for walking and exploring.
We took a small break at Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast, situated at the mouth of the Grey River. It was named after a New Zealand Governor General, Sir George Grey (1861). Greymouth's boom time was in the 1860s with the gold rush, today it is a commercial fishing port and popular sport fishing area for blue fin tuna.
Pushing on, we continued to head south arriving at our destination of Hokitika in good time. Hokitika has a past in mining, milling and dairy. In the late 1860s, over 800kg of gold was shipped to Melbourne, Australia monthly. The gold didn't last so the population relied on the milling of timber, today tourism and the dairy industry are now the major employers in the region.
The shipwreck replica of the schooner Tambo caught my eye against the heavy sky. It stands as a memorial to the forty-two ships wrecked while trying to cross the Hokitika Bar. The Tambo was breached on the south spit on 12 November 1866 and the crew secured her to an old anchor found buried in the sand. The strong river currents and tide forced the anchored ship out to sea again, both the wrecked ship and anchor were washed up on the beach south of Hokitika at Ruatapu. The replica is at the mouth of the Hokitika River which is behind us, the Tasman Sea is behind the Tambo.
We are in Hokitika for two nights, not nearly long enough to explore this interesting town, this is Day Seven of our West Coast adventure.
An edit must be made here for tomorrows blip, sounds strange but my five days have long exceeded for any alterations for my blip dated 1 May.
TeeJay asked if we made it to Hokitika Gorge and yes we did. We took the walk through podocarp/hardwood forest where we could look down into the Hokitika Gorge and out to the lush Kowhitirangi farmland. Further along the track we came across the swingbridge over the blue-green waters of the Hokitika River. We crossed the swingbridge and walked through a little bush before opening out to a large rocky area beside the river and overlooking the huge boulders - it was pristine and beautiful. On our return I was delighted to find a Southern Rata flowering with more buds to open, a little late in the season but in a sheltered sunny position.
Another great day on the West Coast :)