Our Sunday drive was a drive less traveled – first round Lake Kaniere into the Kokatahi Valley and then going deeper inland to the Kowhitirangi Valley to finally arrive at the Hokitika Gorge.
Renown for its blue-green waters wedged between the solid rock face it is a draw card for many a tourist to the West Coast. For us today we didn’t quite get those nice colours as we’d had much rain of late and some dark skies above. There were patches of colour coming through though, especially whenever the skies cleared and the sun poked her head out to say hello.
It is a short walk through a beautiful podocarp forest, following a gravelled track initially where you come to a lookout point, looking back out into the lush farmland of the Kowhitirangi Valley and down into the deep ravine of the gorge.
Then you weave your way around some curved board walks to come to the swingbridge over the water.
Once on the other side, after a very short bush walk you come out onto the rocky outcrop that the river winds her way against. Taking great care as the rocks are slippery, you can get out and sit in wonderment at this beautiful sight. It is incredibly peaceful and serene – although we pretty much had it to ourselves so I’m sure it is perhaps not quite so peaceful on a busy day.
Still we’ll take what we got thank you and just enjoy the peace and quiet, listening to the running water, the trickling waterfalls and the fantails and bellbirds singing their songs.
Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth. They enjoy getting out and about and exploring the many wonders of the West Coast – named one of the top ten regions in the world to visit by Lonely Planet. We certainly know why.