March 14 Pororari River Walk (Day 169)

A cloudy but decent day was forecast for today so we went on an easy hike along the Pororari River where it flows out to the ocean at Punakaiki, about a 20 minute drive from the Airbnb. We did this walk on Feb. 28 as part of the longer loop hike taking in the Punakaiki River as well.

The limestone cliffs covered with prehistoric looking native forest on both sides of the river as we started our hike. The top picture is the north cliff face, across the river. The bottom picture is the south face, above us as we headed upriver.

We hiked through the forest…

Up rock stairs, down through caves…

and over the river on the swingbridge, and onto a smaller, less traveled trail.

The Inland Pack Track we turned onto is the old 1867 trail that miners built to avoid the treacherous climb on a rope ladder over the cliffs near Fox River. The track was built in haste by out-of-work miners and within 6 months it was a morass of mud, the many bridges over the numerous creeks and rivers were in disrepair and it was rarely used by the miners who were focused on getting to the goldfields as quickly as possible, obstacles like cliffs be damned! I don’t think the track has been improved since! After about a mile of huffing it up the narrow, muddy, slippery trail we turned back. We still managed to do a 6.5 mile hike in 3.5 hours!

A weka came to visit while we rested back at the swingbridge. It appeared the minute the crackling of our protein bar wrappers was heard! The ‘camp-robber of NZ’?

We headed home and enjoyed a wonderful sunset.We grilled lamb chops and veggies and made a salad garnished with nasturtiums I collected at the trailhead.

How to eat a nasturtium garnished salad!

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