Up the coast from Hokitika, first stop Kumara Junction. Just before that is the start for the Coast to Coast Race. So we headed down to the beach for lunch. A brief visit onto the beach but it was not really the weather for it.
All lined up at the Coast to Coast.
Just one night at the Kumara (pronounced Koo Mar Roo) Junction Cafe. A good metalled area, free and reasonably quiet through the night. A read up of comments mention breakfast in the cafe at 8 AM but we skipped that and went to visit Kumara township up the road towards Arthurs Pass. This town is a must visit. It is where Dick Seddon (King Dick) lived and raised his family before becoming Prime Minister. A lot of effort has gone into the town erecting signs and information boards explaining the history.
Just down the road a couple of kilometres and into the bush is an enormous boulder. It was sluiced out of a bank in search for gold.When it hit the ground the sound and vibration was felt in Kumara. In fact the vibration was enough to stop the town clock.
Judy on the track to the big rock.
In front of the big rock.
Coffee at the Junction and off to Greymouth. We stayed first night at the camp above the Challenge Petrol Station. Good place for campervans though a larger caravan than ours wouldn’t fit. It was wash day next and out to the Nelson Creek Recreation Ground. $6.00 per person per night. Lovely spot, level, loos and BBQ. Even an outside fire area with firewood supplied, a suspension bridge over the river and some really good bush walks.
The Recreation Ground.
The suspension bridge.
We stayed here two nights, visiting our relations in the afternoon and evening for afternoon tea and an evening meal. It was lovely catching up. During the day we took a trip further out to Gloriavale and back in towards Greymouth and out to Lake Brunner. A really nice lake and a great coffee shop overlooking the railway station. There is a camp ground at Moana and a well set up freedom camp at the next bay around.
Thursday was back into Greymouth and a visit to the Brunner Mine Site where 65 men and boys lost their lives in NZ’s worst mine disaster. The area is very well cared for with plenty of information boards. It was interesting to read that the pit ponys refused to enter the mine in the morning, running back to their stalls. Finally they had to be blindfolded and backed into the mine. At 9.30 there was a huge explosion and all below ground were killed. Rescue operations were immediate and all the bodies recovered were burned beyond recognition. They were buried in a mass grave. Their homes were all owned by the company and needed for the replacement workers and so the widows and children lost their homes.
A memorial at the Brunner Site erected 100 years after the disaster.
The memorial in Greymouth dedicated to all those coal miners who have lost their lives on the West Coast. There are 435 names inscribed on the memorial.