Hokitika and Lake Kaniere

Trip Start May 14, 2010
Trip End Apr 13, 2011

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DOC Campsite: Lake Kaniere

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Saturday, January 22, 2011

With full confidence in the Green Machine we rolled through the mining town of Reefton high in the hills. They still have the nativity scene on display in life size (21.01.11). This time going through the town we learned that the nativity scene is not taken down until the hospital decides to take theirs down and that the characters in Reefton’s nativity scene are Samoan.

Onwards towards Gremouth on the west coast and from here south to Hokitika. This town owes its existence to the gold rush of the 1860s and many mines sprung up in the hills that are inland from this quaint town of low rise buildings and wide streets. A wild windswept beach borders the town, where immense volumes of driftwood congregate. As it happened the annual driftwood competition has just begun and many were hard at it, shaping ‘things’ out of the smooth white wood.......at this stage you might need a very broad imagination to see the artist’s vision.

The greenstone of pounamu is widely valued throughout New Zealand (Aotearoa), both now and in pre-European cultures, among the people of Aotearoa; a tool, a culturally significant decorative item or as a trade article. The geological structures of the west coast’s rocks bestow a wealth of pounamu stone. A working studio within the town allows you to see intricate carvings, shaping and polishing of these stone into fascinating and meaningful pieces of art.

Inland from here lies Lake Kaniere (pronounced ‘canary’ by the locals we met), a glassy blue glacial lake with a circumference of approximately 25kms. This was where the big boys play with their speed boats! A great night was had around the camp fire with the founding father of the boat club!! The fire was made from the inside of an old washing machine! Brilliant Kiwi ingenuity......we could learn a thing or two from that at home on that wild island of ours!!
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