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Published: March 3rd 2010
Checking out the Emergency 4x4
Thought we’d check on results of West Coast Brewery shares - tastes good and they have a new brewer arriving shortly.
Picked up at 10am to do the Stockton Mine Tour, this is the largest coal mine in the country and employs up to 850 staff (including contractors). This trip was great and were able to get up close and personal with the big machinery working. The tyres on the large trucks cost $16000 each! On return we headed to Charleston, a town with a pub, motel, hotel and a few houses, was once a thriving gold mining town of over 14000 people in the late 1860s. It at 72 hotels, 2 breweries, 3 banks, 3 schools etc. The takings at the hotels were so great, so they say, that the tills weren’t large enough to take the money. Now it is very quiet, but has two pretty bays and great cliffs for abseiling and rock-climbing. We walked along the beach and the dark sand glittered with “fools” gold - well, we hope it was fool’s gold otherwise we’ll be kicking ourselves!
Took a drive down to Punakaiki and walked up the Pororari Gorge Track for
Big Bully (sorry about the poor resolution)
an hour or two.
Left Charleston after leaving the tent to dry - wet tent, but dry beds (no leaks).
We drove up a couple of sideroads, finding a dam that would make a good camping site, and also to the seal colony and the Lighthouse at Cape Foulwind.
Back to the Albion Hotel, Westport for the night.
Drove towards Reefton and found Larrys Creek Track where we drove in through native and exotic forest to the end of the 4x4 track, then walked 20 minutes through mature beech forest in to the Larrys Creek mine. The relics of a quartz goldmining operation are rusting away, with a Robey portable stream engine, and open mine shafts. We crossed the river (wet trousers, wet boots) to the Caledonian mine’s 10-head stamper. After a pint or two at Wilson Hotel, and chatting a nice young chap from Whangarei, we packed it in for the night. Rain again, but tent didn’t leak!
Quite day at Reefton - a bit cool today!
Walked up to one of the mines today and found some old relics - (apart from us) mines, motors, winches, coal bins etc. Off
to listen to a live band tonight at Wilson's Hotel.
That's all for now folks.
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