Ancient Clay Cliffs of Omarama

We wandered under the stunning ancient Clay Cliffs, near Omarama, in the Upper Waitaki River Basin, North Otago. Fantastic pinnacles and ravines, formed by natural erosion on the active Ostler Fault, laid down millions of years ago as ocean sediment.  There is a signposted road on State Highway 8, just north of Omarama, to access the Clay Cliffs.  There is an honesty box of $5 per car at the entry gate.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Ohinetahi House and Garden

Sir Miles Warren’s house and garden in Governor’s Bay are a delight. With harbour views,  the present garden was begun in 1977 by Sir Miles, though there was a garden created on the some site in 1865 by one of New Zealand’s first botanists, T.H . Potts.  Some of the exotic trees and shrubs he planted still stand on the perimeter of the garden.  Sir Miles Warren is a well-known New Zealand architect, now in his 80’s.  He lives in the house and was working in his garden when we visited.  In 2012 he gifted the house and garden to the people of New Zealand through the Ohinetahi Charitable Trust.

Introduction outside the main house before starting the tour

 

Continue reading

Deconstruction of Hilgendorf building at Lincoln University

 

The Hilgendorf building had a strong presence on the Lincoln University campus, comprising  about 30 % of Lincoln’s academic floor space.  Built in the brutalist style and opened in 1968, it was named after Frederick William Hilgendorf, who pioneered plant breeding in New Zealand, concentrating on wheat.  He joined the staff in 1899, and retired in 1936.  Continue reading

Castle Hill’s limestone boulders

The Castle Hill boulders are a 10 minute walk from the Great Alpine Highway 73, between Springfield and Arthur’s Pass.  The formations rear up from the grasslands and to the early European settlers, they resembled old run-down castles, hence the name.  It is easy to spend hours wandering among this extensive area, admiring arches, towers, holes, slabs and other shapes that inspire your imagination.

The rock formations are what remains after water has eroded the limestone that formed during the Oligocene period 30 – 40 million years ago, when much of New Zealand was covered by sea.  The rocks have been further weathered by natural erosion.  In 1998 the area was designated the Kura Tawhiti Conservation Area.  Kura Tawhiti means ‘treasure from a distant land’.

These photos were taken in mid April after a light autumn snowfall.  The names I have given the formations are from my own imagination.

At the start of the boulders, walkers on the right giving scale

At the start of the boulders, walkers on the right giving scale

 

SONY DSC

Continue reading

Historic Acheron Homestead

The oldest surviving building within Molesworth Station is the historic Acheron Accommodation House.  It was constructed in 1862-63 by cob builder Ned James, and it was used until 1932 by stockmen and travellers on the inland route between Nelson and Christchurch.  The house was one of six rest places providing shelter and meals on the six day journey.

Archeron Homestead, at the confluence of the Clarence and Archeron Rivers

Acheron Homestead, at the confluence of the Clarence and Acheron Rivers

Continue reading