Gorgeous Gorge !!
04.04.2016 - 04.04.2016
There is 2 ways to do this - Aitch & Jo decided to do the long way around the coast, we chose the Waieoka Gorge version.
First we decided to go through Opotoki and have a look at the Ocean just in case the sun had disappeared by the time we got to Gisborne.
Good idea as that is exactly what happened !
The Waieoka Gorge road is fantastic, long sweeping bends following the Waieoka River alongside towering cliffs covered with Silver fern trees.
First stop was at the Historic Tauranga Bridge - a single span harp suspension bridge spanning 60 metres is one of only two remaining in New Zealand. Currently under renovation.
And a great place to dry your laundry !!
Steve found a Silver Fern -
We passed a couple of guys on their way down - here's what was in their trailer - "Oh Deer" !!!
Next we came across the Manganuku Bridge and camping area.
Soon after the road starts to climb out of the gorge and wind its way up over Traffords Hill, at 725metres the high point in the trip.
Fabulous road, nice sweeping bends with very dramatic scenery.
We were able to stop just over the top for a photo - stunning !
At Matawai we turned toward Motu, small road winding through farmland.
I am quite fascinated by the river flowing through the farm land, it looks like the land just collapsed and made a bed for the river !
We found what remains of this old bridge on what was previously the Gisborne to Auckland Rail Line. Construction commenced n 1900 with a vision to open up the isolated East Coast. Not successful the bridge is now a stark reminder of what could have been
Encountering dirt roads we had to turn back to the main road to Gisborne. (Bikes are not insured for off road use - unfortunately !)
The country is so stunning I had to keep taking photos (I grew up on a farm and so this countryside is interesting to me !)
We arrived in Gisborne in time for lunch and a walk around town to check out the statues.
This is the point where Nick Young spotted land on 7th October 1769. The sighting was claimed by Captain James Cook.
Ahoy - I see land !
Captain Cook sailed three Global Voyages of the world. 1768-71, 1772-75 & 1776-79. The map of the world was now substantially complete.
On landing here in Oct 1769 the traditional greeting between himself and the Maori chief was misunderstood and the Maori were killed, not surprising if it was the Haka !!
Due to this unfortunate event the ship then sailed with no provisions and this bay became known as Poverty Bay.
There are a few quite dramatic Murals around town - discovered on our afternoon walk.
Aitch and Jo have arrived and we are going to compare notes over dinner and a glass of red of course - it is New Zealand after all !!
Tomorrow we leave for Hawkes Bay.