Ross is a town born from gold – from the West Coast gold rush of the 1860s. Ross is most famous in NZ for being the home where New Zealand’s largest ever gold nugget was found – known fondly as the “Roddy Nugget”, it weighed a hefty 3.1kgs.
It was the choice of destination for our latest adventure. South of Greymouth we had about a one hour drive to get there – lovely drive following the coastline. Parking behind the Ross Goldfield Information Centre and Museum we began our walk. Pretty easy one this time round, following the old water race and coming out at the old historic cemetery. Starting at the Historic Ross Goldfields village round past the alluvial lake with some information boards and relics explaining the art of the water wheel and sluicing, the track then climbs gradually up through the native bush meandering up and around with the water race.
You can see where the old viaducts used to be. There is minimal signage on this side until you come to the old miners hut in the bush. This is fantastic – possibly an inspiration for some of our original back country huts!
The trail slowly meanders down and then enters into the historic Ross cemetery – perched high on the hill and affording fantastic views over the township and out to the Tasman Sea. We love visiting old cemeteries – they are both interesting, sad and serene all at the same time.
Stephen wanders around for quite some time taking photos. I take a seat….. lunch time and am watched with much hope by the dogs.
Time to continue back to the car. A bit more bush track before we come out on the back streets of the town of Ross. Some wonderful old buildings back here and then another short bush walk that leads to the Goldfields Historic Village and car park again. Just two buildings here in the village – a beautifully restored miners cottage and a gaol. Great examples of yesteryear both inside and out.
Before heading home we decide to see if we can find access to the beach. For us Ross is a town we often pass through but don’t often have the opportunity or time to stop. We’ve seen the sign for beach – or at least a road sign “beach road” so assume it heads to the beach. Given that we could see the sea from the cemetery we knew it couldn’t be far away. Turns out it isn’t. Gorgeous beach – really sandy and lots of sand dunes. Reasonably high tide but we still have a short wander and the dogs get to have a decent run free from the confines of our controlled bush walk. I know we’re not supposed to project our thoughts into what our animals might be thinking but in this case I’m sure going by the looks on their faces they would be saying “wahoo, feel that sand in your toes – oooohhh lovely!” – or something like that.
Home time but we’ll be back sometime soon to spend some quality time exploring the beach – we see a headland to the south that definitely requires further investigation…… watch this space…….
Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth. Together with their faithful companions Nico and Ziggy they enjoy getting out and about and exploring the wonders that help make up The West Coast of The Southern Alps. Come join them on their next adventure.