New Zealand

Reefton - Kirwans track

A three-day trek in the landscape of gold diggers

(1 rating)
Reefton - Kirwans track
Inserted: 10.10.2017
Author: Jindřich Kadrman © gigaplaces.com

After a couple of crowded Great Walks, we headed for a lesser known trek near the town of Reefton. The reality exceeded all expectations. A three-day trip through beautiful nature is completed by old abandoned mines and remnants of gold mining, which give the place a unique charm and remind of its lost glory.

Reefton

The old mining town of Reefton is a good base for the Kirwans track.

Reefton
Author: Jindřich Kadrman © gigaplaces.com

Kirwans track

We park the car in the parking lot at the end of Gannons Rd., Not far from the town of Reefton. We pack our bags and set off at the junction over the hill to the end of the Caplesone road. After only a few hundred meters, we come across the first snag. The road is closed due to mining. However, according to the date on the sign, it is all over, so we continue. We climb the overgrown path to a hill, where a huge area of felled trees opens up in front of us. Sad look. We walk through that wasteland among the remains of trunks, branches and stumps. Suddenly our journey through ends. We look sadly through a small valley full of tree remains. All that remains is to fight a few hundred meters with this calamity. We stumble, climb and carefully move forward. Fortunately, on a hill by the forest, we come across a path that we take down the hill to Boatmans Creek and join the Kirwans Track. Against the stream, we climb slowly through the valley to the place where the trek disappears in a black tunnel through the rock. Behind him is a long rope bridge. It's like moving to another world. The current cloudy and foggy weather is gone and the sun is shining beautifully here. We continue upstream and sometimes we get directly to the water.

Kirwans track

After passing through a rock wall, we feel as if we have moved to another world.

Kirwans track
Author: Jindřich Kadrman © gigaplaces.com

Attention

There are all kinds of dangers lurking on the way.

Attention
Author: Jindřich Kadrman © gigaplaces.com

With gold by the nails

I see a beautiful meander full of sand and I'm going to test a new pan. Panning is harder than it looks. Nevertheless, after a while, tiny shiny yellow scales appear. Gold? Hard to say. But we had to try. We continue on our way. It is starting to rise noticeably and is still rising. It ripples steadily through the forest higher and higher. We are tired enough and the cottage is still out of sight. For the last few kilometers we climb among twisted trees completely covered with moss. The first drops begin to fall from the dark sky. We intertwine with the last piece of forest and the red roof of a beautiful cottage on a small clearing appears in front of us. Just in time. We settle in a cottage and a heavy downpour starts. Lightning randomly illuminates the interior of the cottage through large windows. Spooky.

Kirwans Hut

A comfortable bed is taken care of

Kirwans Hut
Author: Jindřich Kadrman © gigaplaces.com

Tooth of time

It's not raining the next day. The valley is shrouded in thick fog and high mountain peaks peek out in the distance. First we make a small detour and climb Kirwans Hill. From here there are beautiful views of the surrounding hills, after which the clouds are still lying. We will return a short distance the same way to the crossroads, from where we will head to Montgomerie Hut. We descend through the moss-covered forest and find reminders everywhere about the time when mining was taking place here. Here the dishes, there the tools gnawed by time or the long-broken mining cable car. Carts half buried in the ground or rusty steel rope overgrown deep in tree trunks. Mysterious place. The pleasant path becomes a tiring descent along a steep path soaked by night downpours. Several sections of the road are even torn off by a landslide. Kirwans Creek hums below us. We walk past the old station of the damaged mining cable car and continue along the Waitahu River. However, the path is not improving. Although we are no longer descending, we cross many streams, wade through large swamps and climb fallen trees. After a few kilometers we finally reach Montgomerie Hut.

Tooth of time

The forest is dotted with various objects, as a reminder of the former mining.

Tooth of time
Author: Jindřich Kadrman © gigaplaces.com

Tooth of time

Old mining equipment scattered across the forest.

Tooth of time
Author: Jindřich Kadrman © gigaplaces.com

Return

We barricaded the hole under the door so that no mice could get on us at night, and surprisingly, it worked. We wake up to a beautiful morning and not a cloud in the sky. The road leading from the cottage is driven by off-road cars and is full of potholes, large puddles and fords across streams and small rivers. Nevertheless, the road passes quickly and soon we are back in the parking lot by the car. So we completed the Kirwans Track, which many people don't walk all over. The reason may be a closed connection between the paths, so it seems that it is not possible to make a circuit, or more difficult terrain in the second half of the trek. However, it is definitely a beautiful short trek through beautiful nature, when you also dig a little into history and see the remains of gold mining. I warmly recommend.

Kirwans track

If you are driving through the town of Reefton, stop here for a few days. It's worth it.

Kirwans track
Author: Jindřich Kadrman © gigaplaces.com
Applaud the author of the article!
Share it on:

They been there (0)

Be the first who been there!

They want there (0)

Be the first, who want to go there!

Have you been there? Contribute a good advice to travelers who want to go to this area or add places to your visited list.

Do you want to go there? There is nothing easier than having to deal with others and go on a trip or get tips on where you want to go.

Activities

Practical information

Thanks!

Have you been there? Write a review of this place

Already rated by 1 traveler

Have you been there? Write a review of this place

You must be logged in to post a review or