Sunday, 11 May 2014

“The Nevis”- There & Back: Part 2

This may be the last blog post for a few days as it looks like we'll be out of internet range this coming week.

Continued on from Part 1

We left the Lower Nevis settlement, or what is left of it, and continued on towards the gorge.
I had a chuckle as we passed the only “road” that branches off the Nevis, it runs a short distance down to the river. It’s shown in my map book & on TomTom. Imagine the surprise if you blindly followed directions to the wrong Robertson Road.

Commissioners Creek, the first ford (to be followed by 29 others from here to the other end of the valley) This creek was the source of many of the water races that were used for sluicing, the remains of five races could be seen on the nearby hillside, the lower races provide low pressure for ground sluicing while the higher races were used for hydraulic elevation sluicing.

This ford was the first place we thought might cause concern for bigger vehicles driving the road and was the only sign we saw of the flood damage mentioned on the sign at the beginning of the road.

As we approached the gorge there were large piles of stacked stones on either sides of the road & river, this was a a major Chinese working claim & throughout the gorge were more signs of both Chinese & European workings and the occasional stone remains of huts.

The gorge road is very narrow in places and drops sharply on occasion but generally its quite a reasonable track. Again there would be a few places where a bigger vehicle would struggle to get traction up a sharp incline.

Amongst the remains of houses & huts through the gorge is the former 1880s “Loch Linnie” homestead (bottom left). Just a short distance up from the homestead & in good repair is a stone hut (bottom right) This former home was later used as a mustering hut and apparently, recorded on the ceiling are the names of the yearly mustering gangs. I couldn’t get across to it as there was a large sluicing pond and deep creek separating me from the homestead & stone hut. I think you can drive around the other side  and walk in but it was about now that we decided we’d better turn around and head for home.

I could see the huts at Roaring Lion Creek (where we’d had lunch on our 4WD safari) off in the distance & as it had taken a good 3 hours to get this far we thought we’d better start the return journey so we would be off the road before dark. It was a whole different view heading back through the gorge.

There were just two gates to open and close on this section of the road although we passed through about half a dozen already open gates. The road is closed for winter from here (behind us) to Garston. it's closed from the beginning of June until the end of September. As you can see from the shot up sign & battered gate some people take exception to that!

Back to the top of the Carrick Range and the weather looks to have cleared a little.

“Long & Winding Road” “Take the High Road” “Long Road Home”……
One last stop to see if Mt Cook has appeared, it hadn’t and these merinos weren’t very impressed at being disturbed while licking their salt blocks. At first I thought they were checking out a whole lot of rubbish somebody had left behind, it looked like fast food wrappers. I was all ready to fetch a bag from the ute to pick it up when I realised what they in fact were. By then the sheep had high-tailed it out of there.

And so that was that, we have now driven the “Nevis”, a 75km road through a remote high country valley with stunning views and a stark but beautiful landscape..........wait, that’s not quite true. We did miss about 4kms in the centre by not driving to Roaring Lion Creek where we had finished on the safari. Another road trip to mirror our tramps, there & back & miss the middle bit!


  1. Stunning country & photos.
    Ciao Jimu

    1. Thanks Jimu, it amazes me how rapidly the scene changes when travelling, NZ really does have so many different landscapes.

  2. I agree with Jimu. I've just had a good long read after being away. Very interesting and satisfying, thanks, Shelley.

    1. You're welcome & thankyou Olwen, hope you had a great time away.

  3. Thanks for these fabulous descriptions. They are really helpful.

    1. You're welcome Stephanie, glad they are of some help. Enjoy your visit!


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