16 September 2017

Wandering Through Karangahake Gorge

All we could hear was the soft crunch of our shoes on the path gravel, the occasional click of a camera lens and birdsong echoing around the valley.

Things to do in New Zealand Karangahake Gorge Adventures of a London Kiwi

We made our way up the gradual rise of old mine tracks, with an occasional flurry up a flight of sturdy steps. Stopping every so often to grouch at our cameras, and then crouching to read the information boards posted in front of moss covered mining equipment, we simply followed the path.

Slipping between the Coromandel and Kaimai ranges, the road winds from Waihi to Paeroa, following the carved out riverbeds and soaring hillsides.

Things to do in New Zealand Karangahake Gorge Adventures of a London Kiwi

We picked a sunny afternoon to take a walk through the gorge, one that wasn't too hot or cold, somewhere in the centre.

Things to do in New Zealand Karangahake Gorge Adventures of a London Kiwi

Having not been there since I was a small child (except to pass through by car on the way to my Dad's) my Dad, stepmum and I fuelled up on a cracking pie before tackling the well known Windows Walk. Sadly recovering from a recent knee operation my stepmom stayed in the car, but shoed us onwards - probably wanting a bit of piece from our endless stream of witty jokes.

Things to do in New Zealand Karangahake Gorge Adventures of a London Kiwi

Originally set up to mine the rich gold seams in the area, in the late 1800s/early 1900s batteries at the end of the gorge pummelled ore to extract that rare metal. Nowadays the area is simply used by tourists and restless locals to explore the beautifully wooded gorge.

Things to do in New Zealand Karangahake Gorge Adventures of a London Kiwi

So that's just what we did.

It wasn't any more complicated or fanciful than that, just a hour wandering along dappled pathways, admiring the scenery.

Things to do in New Zealand Karangahake Gorge Adventures of a London Kiwi

Following the curving path, at one point we found ourselves in old tunnels, squidging through soft mud in the pitch black between the softly lit swinging light arcs of my iPhone. (Because millennial, and worse, an unprepared millennial.)

Things to do in New Zealand Karangahake Gorge Adventures of a London Kiwi

Every 20 or 30 meters the afternoon sunshine would beam through the tunnel windows, allowing us to stop and admire the rushing river below.

Things to do in New Zealand Karangahake Gorge Adventures of a London Kiwi

Just so pretty. Too pretty for words.

Things to do in New Zealand Karangahake Gorge Adventures of a London Kiwi

As we walked we would occasionally happen upon clusters of friends or family with pups on leads, but with a friendly smile one of us would disappear around the next curve and we were left in peace again. To crack terrible jokes.

Things to do in New Zealand Karangahake Gorge Adventures of a London Kiwi

I wish I could bottle this peace and bring it back with me to London, to occasionally open and clear my mind. Instead I'll just blog about it and hope that one day technology will make that possible.

Things to do in New Zealand Karangahake Gorge Adventures of a London Kiwi
Things to do in New Zealand Karangahake Gorge Adventures of a London Kiwi

Once we crossed the river bridge, our mine tunnel windows simply became black smears in the rock face. The water rushed over smoothed rocks and gurgled along the banks lined with ferns and trees.

Things to do in New Zealand Karangahake Gorge Adventures of a London Kiwi

My country, my heart, my Aoteoroa.

Things to do in New Zealand Karangahake Gorge Adventures of a London Kiwi

And an obligatory shoefie - because you can take the blogger out of London...

Things to do in New Zealand Karangahake Gorge Adventures of a London Kiwi

Do you love hiking or walking?

No comments :

Post a Comment

So, what do you think? Comments are blogging mana; short, sweet, long, loquacious, deep and meaningful...