So, the touristy things:
- We drove up to Denniston and Burnett's Face to the former coal mining area.
Up at Burnett's Face, looking over to the ranges. Quite a brooding place with the clouds.
A memorial to some of the miners who had lived up there and died after the mines closed.
What an impressive job DOC and the local councils have done on restoration of the area and in setting up the interp. (That is what us DOC-ers call it, by the way. As you've no doubt guessed, it is short for interpretation.) The people who lived and worked there were particularly hardy - it was a rugged and lonely place in the ranges, with all of the weather that the geography would dictate - high in the hills (which would qualify as mountains in the UK as being over 2000 feet high), close to the sea, with the next landfall Australia.
This is what NZ used to be like - and some West Coast people still operate this way ... I did walk on to this platform but couldn't stay out there. It looks steeply down the former incline. We were already about 2000 feet above sea level - but look at the range in the background ...
An example of the pylons and buckets that brought the coal down the hills from the mine down to the Incline. Picnic lunch at the information area at Denniston
The view from the front window back down the coast as we drove back down to sea level.
- From the main road further on from the Denniston turnoff, we saw the
railhead for the Stockton Mine which still operates.
The cable car with the buckets of coal from the mine back in the hills.
- As Mohikinui was not much further on, we headed there next and at
the lovely pub/cafe, we had a late lunch (well, the picnic of crudites
and hummus at Denniston was yummy, but a toasted sandwich and chips had a
certain attraction ...) It has a lovely campsite and several baches.
Access to the beach is a bit difficult right now as I think the locals
have formed a stopbank of rocks and gravel between the sea and the dirt
and grassed stopbank - I need to check, but I think it was done as a
defence against the two recent cyclones.
The double row of stopbanks, complete with my lovely husband.