After overnight rain, the day dawned fine. After a great breakfast and coffee at WCSW we had a short flat ride into the Cycle Journeys depot at Hokitika to meet a shuttle. Today's ride would be back to Hokitika, with an overnight stay there.
West Coast Scenic Waterways to Hokitika Ride
First obstacle was getting out of the driveway, West Coast Weka rush hour morning traffic!
Over the Mahināpua Tūwharewhare Bridge...
And into the Cycle Journeys Depot.
A sad, significant, stop on the way to Hokitika Gorge:
On 8 and 9 October 1941 Stanley Graham, a deranged local farmer, opened fire on police and other locals. Seven men were killed or later died of their injuries. This memorial to the victims was unveiled on 8 October 2004. It has been created from a large boulder from nearby Diedrichs Creek. Each person who died is commemorated by a bronze plaque.
Those killed were: Sergeant William Cooper, Constable Ted Best, Constable Percy Tulloch, Constable Fred Jordan, George Ridley, Gregory Hutchison, and Richard Coulson.
Stanley Graham eluded capture for 12 nights until he was fatally wounded by the police. The tragic story was told in the 1981 film 'Bad Blood'.
Hokitika Gorge Walk
Although a little off the main route this hidden gem is worth the excursion. Stunning scenery packed into a beautifully crafted two-kilometre DOC walk.
The 'little bridge' takes you over the gorge, spectacular views on the way to spectacular views!
Love how much care has been put into fitting the walkways into the landscape.
The 'big bridge' takes you back across the river, from mid-span views of the gorge open out to the Southern Alps beyond.
Big cables holding up the big bridge, some massive infrastructure on this gorgeous little walk.
Dorothy Falls to Hokitika Ride
It was back to the bikes for a shuttle up to the ride start at Dorothy Falls.
After a brief falls photo stop it was time to saddle up and get riding.
There's a short quiet gravel road section, heading towards Lake Kaniere.
We had a lunch stop at Hans Bay (below), pre-packed by our hosts this morning. It was great to meet West Coast Wilderness Manager Jackie who was out asking riders to fill out the all-important trail survey forms. If you ride any NZ Cycle Trails fill out the survey as they are vital to ongoing funding for maintenance and improvements.
Had a bizarre bit of bad, good, luck leaving Hans Bay, Lake Kaniere. Heard an odd clack-clack-clack from the front wheel and found a big thumb tack embedded right in the middle of the tyre tread. That was the bad bit, the good when I pulled it out and the sealant in 'En-Trance' tubeless tyre spluttered out and filled the hole. I didn't need to plug it, still riding the same tyre and no problems since.
I had a look around as some trails have had vandalism problems but there were no more to be seen in the gravel. Later saw some event signs, for a run or something, around the bay held up using them so it was just bad luck!
Kaniere Water Race Trail
This part of the trail follows the historic, first built in 1875, Kaniere Water Race. It was in active use supporting gold mining until 1953, and still feeds a small hydro-power scheme. It also runs through some lovely native bush!
The water flows...
This shows the only three level Bike Path, over a stream aqueduct, over a water race, in New Zealand. I don't actually know if that is true, but it must be!
The bush tannin-stained tea coloured water.
The Kaniere Forks/McKays Creek Power Scheme still supplies power to Hokitika and surrounds
Zigging the zags, a nice section of the trail.
Heading to Hokitika along the river, back at Teichelmann's Bed & Breakfast tonight.