An interesting find

During this summer break, which is in the last week of January in New Zealand, I finally pushed ahead down the Ngatuhoa Steam and discovered the river junction, where the stream joint the the Opuaki River. During the summer months the water flow is limited, unless there is a downpour during a thunderstorm, and the riverbed provides, for most parts, a relatively easy path with breathtaking views of waterfalls, gullies and huge fallen trees. In a later post I will talk about that some more and show some of the photos I took. This post is about something I found washed down the stream, or simply dumped their. I was close to my destination in the river, when I spotted the remnants of a small rail car washed down the river, or simply dumped their after it had done its duty. My first thought was that it had been used in forestry or in mining, but there was no rail-track anywhere. I knew that in the ’80’s (or about) the Lower Kaimai Hydro-scheme was built. This involved the diversion of water from various steams to a sequence of relatively small power stations. This also involved tunnelling with tunnel boring equipment. In other parts, the ground was ‘difficult’ and tunnelling was carried out the old fashioned way. To carry away the soil and rocks dug out, a small, narrow rail line was built with rail cars and a small locomotive to pull them out. This system was used at the Opuaki intake no. 4 and the rail car I found was a remnant of that era. Next year I hope to go back and make some more photos with a better camera. No-trail tramping certainly has its advantages. You see a lot of things you know that not many people get to see. Doing it in my natural state gives it another dimension again.Image     


Te Rere I Oturu Waterfall

Te Rere I Oturu Waterfall

This waterfall is about 20m wide and 40m high. The story goes that a Maori warrior was chased by others and he decided to jump, rather than face the ‘hunters’. The translation is something like: The place where Turu took flight.

No-trail hiking has its challenges

No-trail hiking has its challenges

Climbing big boulders to find your way

Wondering what lies around the corner

Wondering what lies around the corner

A small canyon, still waiting to be explored. I did not know what was around the corner so didn’t try. One of the things you need to be aware of when you’re hiking alone is your limitations.

Ngatuhoa Falls, Kaimai Ranges, New Zealand

Ngatuhoa Falls, Kaimai Ranges, New Zealand

Heavy showers can turn this waterfall in a raging torrent of water.

Ngatuhoa Stream: The first small canyon

Ngatuhoa Stream: The first small canyon

Standing on a small ridge, ready to take the plunge into the unknown.

Ngatuhoa Stream

Ngatuhoa Stream

View from above. I came across this view only by accident. When following the stream, I encountered a canyon which I couldn’t see to the end and it sounded as if there were rapids around the corner. I decided to leave exploring that canyon until another time (probably next year). To get passed it, I had to climb up a steep hill and try to find a way through the dense bush. Quite high on the ridge I spotted the stream, while I was fortunate to find a goat trail, barely visible, to help me along. Getting down the bank was just as steep and I was grateful for the trees and scrubs providing support when needed.

A view from behind the curtain

A view from behind the curtain

From behind a small waterfall with only little mid-summer flow, the world looks so bright