10 mile valley is probably our most common “go to” walk. Nice and close to home – just down the road actually since we are at 9 mile. Easy valley walk following the 10 mile creek basically set in a shallow gorge with towering limestone cliffs surrounding us and native bush.
I say easy walk – the first 3kms up the valley is very easy and then you have the option of going up the hill or turning around and heading back out. Up the hill – yes I said up and I mean up – up, up, up, up and it is steep in places! Just ask my legs – although they may not be able to answer as they are too busy trying to catch their breath – no wait, that is me……
Doesn’t seem to matter how fit we are or think we are, this is always a slog. A good slog though – coming back down you feel proud as it really showcases just how steep the walk was. Worth it for the views too. Can see back down the valley we walked up and get great views of some of the abandoned coal mines, the beautiful native forest and those towering limestone cliffs.
10 mile valley is coal mine valley – heaps of history in the hills with abandoned coal mines and their respective relics. There was a hive of mining activity up here in the 1950s through to 1980s – just small private operations but around 5 different mines in all.
The wonderful thing about West Coast bush is that she soon reclaims her space and the relics and mining paraphernalia is quickly buried amongst the undergrowth. In one respect it is a shame all this was left here to rot but on the other hand it lets us see our history and get a sense for what was and how things were done in the past. It also opens an area for us to explore and appreciate and to access an area and views we perhaps wouldn’t get to experience otherwise. There always has to be a positive don’t you think! All-ways look on the bright side of life, da da, de de de de da da…….
For us though, time to head back down and out the valley. Always great to get out for a walk, always great to walk the 10 mile valley – hills of history.
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 that help make up the West Coast of the Southern Alps. Easy to see why it was named one of the top regions in the world to visit by Lonely Planet.