Paeroa, another site that was not too good to stay in. Truck engines fired into life at 3.30 am just sitting there and not heading off, and of course, being in a town, there was bound to be traffic noise. But it had power and toilets and $5 per night was a very reasonable price.
We were away before 9 am and t'was to Karangahake Gorge for that long awaited walk. It is a historic walkway that follows the old railway line between Paeroa and Waihi, with impressive remains from the mining and railway eras. Everything was as I had imagined, a path with sheer drop one side to the river and overhanging rocks on the other, fabulous views and not much in the way of steep paths or steps.
|That white rock was not a wall, just the rock face slopping away.|
The tunnel was long, at least a kilometre in length, and although we had the torch as instructed, many didn't, and it was only when voices were heard that we realised someone was approaching. Even some cyclists went through without a headlight.
|It was much darker than this inside. All we could really see was the light at the end of the tunnel!|
|Taken with flash|
It took roughly an hour and a half to do the round trip but even when we got to the finishing point, more was to be seen and we continued to the lookout along the Windows Walk. Now this walk should have taken trampers (walkers) through more tunnels but due to instability of rock walls with the possibility of slips, it was closed. We did manage to peer through the slats to take a photo.
|At the lookout|
On the road and guess what...another water fall! This was the Owharoa Falls. Of course we stopped!
The SH20 also took us past the Victoria Battery. This was the largest quartz ore processing plant in Australasia and one of the biggest industrial sites in New Zealand in the early 1900’s. Then it was the country’s largest producer of gold -10 times more than the next largest battery. More info HERE
|How the battery used to look.|
|This was before everyone turned up|
Time to go exploring, to walk to the point. Through a wood and then along the shore line. Horses are regularly exercised here as we found out.
It was whilst having our evening meal outside that we were joined by those couples.
And more fab post boxes