WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE…

The Pelorus Bridge is in a beautiful area of native forest, now classified as a scenic reserve.  The forest includes beech, podocarp and broadleaf species, and is home to a variety of native and introduced birds.  It also has a population of endangered native bats.  As you will see from the photographs it had been, and still was, raining heavily when we visited.  I would love to go back and walk some of the tracks in good weather.

The Pelorus Sound and River were originally known to Maori as Te Hoiere.  According to Maori tradition Te Hoiere was one of the great canoes of the migrations that settled New Zealand.

LEAVE NOTHING BUT FOOTPRINTS…

We did find a brief moment to visit the beautiful Kaiteriteri Beach, which has to rate as one of the best beaches in the Nelson region.  BUT it was wall-to-wall people.  Last time Rod was there, admittedly not at the height of the season – and a VERY long time ago, it was both beautiful and deserted.  I’d love to go back there in the winter and just chill out and do some collecting, because even with so many people there, we noticed quite a few shells on the beach.  Loved the fascinating shapes of the limestone boulders.

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON…

On to Temuka – and the weather progressively becoming colder and wetter as we travelled.  So many ‘no vacancy’ signs, but we finally found a room in a little motel at our destination.  The traffic noise all night was horrendous, and this is where the rain caught up with us in earnest, so torrential that the roof of our unit leaked and we had to move.  But good to be able to spend some time with my sister.

Not good weather for photos, but there were some lovely old buildings in the town – notice the opportunistic tree on the facing.  (Fearless Fred would have enjoyed those big puddles)

THE EARTHQUAKE COAST…

We journeyed down the Kaikoura Coast ahead of the coming storm, and the weather was warm and sunny.  Everywhere there was evidence of the damage done in the catastrophic 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.  Many of the rocks now visible were once under the sea, as the land was forced upwards by about 2 meters.  There was also northward movement along the main fault line of 1-2 meters.  Seal and bird colonies were totally disrupted, and falling rocks and huge landslips forced the closure of both the road and rail links.

As we journeyed south I noted a seal colony on the rocks north of Kaikoura, and huge bird colonies re-established to the south.  It was difficult to take many photos of the damage as we had to move through in convoys where the rebuilding work was continuing.  In Kaikoura township itself, they were using container shops brought in from Christchurch.  Ironically, the day after we travelled through, the roads were closed again by more slips brought down by the storm.

LANDFALL…

Crossing Cook Strait was a dream, with the seas still calm ahead of the storm.  On deck was a different story though as there was a really cold wind blowing through, and it wasn’t pleasant to stay out there for too long.  Have to admit the ferry below wasn’t the one we crossed on – ours was a bit smaller.  Loved the mistiness of the hills as we sailed up the sounds, so I left that photo in a rather over-exposed state because I liked it that way.

cry of gulls
and the hills disappearing
in softness

ON THE ROAD AGAIN…

We’ve been away for a while – some good reasons, some bad.  The whole trip ended up more exciting than we would have wished, and the reasons for that will become apparent with later posts.  Suffice to say we were hit by the tail end of a tropical storm, and contended with flooding and slips.

But in the meantime this is the start of our journey – down the Island to Wellington to catch the interisland ferry.  Grabbed some photos at Plimmerton on the way down.  This is one of my favourite places, with little boatsheds sitting out over the water in a sheltered bay.  And at this point the weather was still fine…