Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Magnificent Hokitika Gorge

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Day 2, August 19, 2010 - Punakaiki to Franz Josef - 217 km. 

I didn't remember setting the alarm clock for the next morning. However, it wasn't needed as I was woken up by something else. No, not by the girlfriend, but by the smell of the freshly baked muffins in the kitchen. The smell of the muffins was so strong that it reached the first floor, well into our rooms!

The lady from the reception had waken up earlier than us and baked the muffins, which was then left on the kitchen counter.


The muffin of the day was sultanas & vanilla.


Besides muffins, visitors can also have freshly baked bread.


Visitors only have to request for the bread a day earlier.


Sultanas & vanilla muffins, sold at two dollars each. Seriously, they were humongous, about the size of three tennis balls combined! I think one muffin is enough to be shared by two people.


Our simple breakfast - pizza bread we brought from Christchurch. The excessive amount of spices were added by myself. Mich said I'm crazy to put so much on the pizza haha!

The pizza bread was quite huge, even though we already shared it among the two of us. Mich couldn't finish up her piece of pizza, so as usual I was made the "rubbish bin". The pizza was already cold, so I thought of heating up the tiny piece of pizza in the microwave. Unfortunately, I left it inside the microwave for far too long; it was practically "roasted" already when I took it out!

No way I was gonna eat the "black forest" pizza lol!


A visitor book, on the table in the longe. a spent some good ten minutes browsing through it and found that visitors who had stayed in this place came from all around the world.


Just three months earlier, there was a couple from Malaysia here as well.


I suggested that we write our comments in as many languages we can, but Mich told me not to be gila lol! So I let her write while I explore every corners of the lounge.


That's the fireplace, which looked more like a oven to me haha!


They have real fires, and not fake one hor.


Got congkak some more! Cool, right?


I don't understand why doctors have such poor handwriting, that we have to squint our eyes to read every words. Oh, that last few Japanese characters, which read "arigatou" were written by me. So much better and neat, right? Haha!

Come, let me tell you guys a story happened when I was busy loading our stuff into the car boot.  When I walked out, I was greeted by a bird. The first thing that came to my mind was that I have spotted a kiwi bird! I was so damn excited, that I quickly rushed into the lodge and told Mich about my discovery. She appeared not impressed at all, because she knew it wasn't a kiwi bird. Apparently, it is not that easy to spot wild kiwi birds, even in New Zealand.

True enough, after checking it out for the second time, I realised the bird was just a cetak rompak version haha wtf! That stupid bird is damn naughty and I had to keep an eye on it all the time. That's because it kept staring and targeting on our food and snack bags all the time. Not just that, it also attempted to jump into our car several times!


Lansi face bird haha!


On our way down to Hokitika, we stopped at Greymouth to grab some grocery supplies.


Interesting paintings on the wall in the town.


Quite impressed to see such modern telephone booth in a small town like Greymouth.


For a boy who'd grown up in a town that has the oldest railway station in Malaysia, it is just normal for me to have a special connection with train stations.


They do not have electronic boards to show the time of the train because the trains will just appear suddenly without warning haha!


We continued our journey towards the south and halfway through the journey, we came to this bridge. Railway track on the left, and tar road for vehicles on the right, to be combined when we got on the bridge.


This time we were less worried thank our first encounter because even if there is a train coming from the front, it will hit the truck first lol!


This was the first and the last time I saw trains durng my one-month stay in New Zealand. That is how rare to spot a train in Kiwiland.

I am already halfway through the entry and haven't even mentioned anything about the gorge. Alright, our plan of the day was to drive down south from Punakaiki to Franz Josef, but we would stop for a few hours at Hokitika to visit the gorge and also have our lunch.

The Hokitika Gorge is a little gem hidden in the outskirt of Hokitika township. Located approximately 33 kilometers from the town, it took us about 45 minutes to reach the place. I guess it won't be an exaggerated statement to say that it is one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand. It is one of those places that your heart drops when you first see its beauty.


We had to take a fifteen-minute walk through a short track that goes down to a swing bridge.


The first sign of what was to come was teasing glimpses through the trees of this unworldly water.


It was not until we arrive at the swing bridge that crosses the gorge, giving us closer access to the waters.

Mich has been here once during her rural posting late last year and only by looking at the pictures she posted up, I was already impressed by its breathtaking scenery. This time, I was there myself to witness its beauty and what else can I say but say that it was really impressive.

The beautiful turquoise blue water is quite breathtaking as is the gorge itself, which is surrounded by rugged rock cliffs. The colour comes from glacial ice water melt mixed with the milkiness of the silt that has been ground down from the rock faces around and under the moving glacier.


The gorge, seen from the swing bridge.


Another direction of the magnificent gorge, also from the swing bridge.


A warning sign for the visitors of the potential danger around the area.


Guess what? This cute little bird followed us all the way from the swing bridge right until we reached the end of the track. It was so friendly and tame, and it appeared as if it was guiding us along the walking track.


The swing bridge over the gorge.

We continued walking along a short path that goes down to the rocks and led us to the water because it is a good area for photographs. This path is only for confident walkers as it goes across rocks and it is not advisable for kids and elderly people to go to that area. We came across a couple on our way back, who asked us if it's worth it to go all the way there.

When we told them about the risky surface, the lady just said, "Hmmm, I guess I'll just stay here then." haha!

However, there were travellers who have been brave enough to jump into the alpine fed waters. Further up the gorge the rough water is popular with adventure kayakers and is quite challenging.


 Hokitika gorge #1.


Hokitika gorge #2.


Finally reached the end of the rocky path.


Lucky us because the weather was kind to us.


 One last picture before we leave the incredible gorge.

Here is another interesting story. During our drive from the town to the gorge earlier, I spotted a sibeh huge sheep. Mich said that it shouldn't be reared by the wool, but believe it or not, as a pet haha! I didn't believe it at first, but come to think of it, since there are so many sheep in New Zealand, it should not be something abnormal.

I insisted Mich that we stop to see that sheep on our way back to the town.


The sheep was so huge that I didn't dare to get too near to it haha!



So, next time if people ask you what animal you wanna rear as a pet, a sheep isn't a bad option lol!


mg said...

LOL i looked like i was writing wit my left hand!!!! so weird

Zzzyun said...

haha i think michelle's handwriting is considered alright d! at least i can read it haha..

u havent seen worse..some doctor's handwriting is almost unreadable except for a few words here n there lol.

Kae Vin said...

Why the colour of the water like that one?

D-Tourist said...

aw... u should haf let the birdie hop into ur car.. and bring it to ur next lodge... then can have roasted wild fowl for dinner. Judging by the size... should make a decent dinner ....Tat will teach it a lesson for trying to eat ur snacks... hahaha :P

D-Tourist said...

the gorge view is really すごいですね. The water looks great for a dip....

calvin said...

@ mg:
yeah, i just realised that too!
must be what they call reflection.

it's already so hard to read your writings written with your right hand, imagine how would it look like if you use your left hand. worse than knk's writing i think =P

calvin said...

@ zzzyun:
i have seen her writing for years, but i still can't really read it haha!

i am suspecting that most doctors aren't really writing; they just simply conteng here and there haha!

calvin said...

@ kae vin:
it's explained in the entry.
horr! didn't read my entry properly!

calvin said...

@ d-tourist:
lol! in the beginning, i thought you were talking about the little bird that followed us at the gorge and i wondered why would i do such cruel act to an innocent bird haha!

but now that i have realised that you were talking about that lansi bird, yea, i think it would be a nice idea haha!

yes, the gorge was fantastic. but i didn't try to jump into the water because i know i will sink all the way to the bottom haha!

bloggingupiseasyd said...

Very funny story about the lansi bird lol What does lansi mean?

And the gorge is truly beautiful, thank you for showing : )

D-tourist said...

hahah!!! dun worry .. even if u jump in.. ur margin of safety is much greater than most people... at 192cm.. u may even be able to walk across... the river bed... just need to hold ur head up high :P kekeke...

D-tourist said...

lansi = snobbish, arrogant

calvin said...

@ bloggingupiseasyd:
hehe, i think d-tourist has answered your question. well, it's a hokkien word which means "cocky" xD

glad that you enjoyed the pictures =)

calvin said...

@ d-tourist:
haha! i have heard that joke from other people as well. but no, the water is definitely not that shallow >.<

D-Tourist said...

eh.. i tot the word is cantonese in origin.

bloggingupiseasyd said...

Okay! Thanks for letting me know : )

calvin said...

@ d-tourist:
oppss, my bad. yes, it is indeed a cantonese word ;)

calvin said...

@ bloggingupiseasyd:
no problem :)
hope that you have learned a new word =)