Monday, 25 July 2016

Spectacular Waiohine Gorge, yucky weather

Foolishly believing the Metservice forecast we set off for a hike on Saturday. The weather in Wellington was pretty terrible and while the whole country was facing record winds on Sunday the forecast for the Wairarapa was mild Saturday in comparison. 
We chose Waiohine Gorge as the swing bridge looks spectacular- and it is!
As is the gorge it crosses. A 120m suspension bridge, 40m above the river apparently, it's one person wide with a loading of 7 people. This is somewhere I wish I had brought Don and Imogen when they were young - very wow. There was a family down below us as we crossed. In the selfie pic you can see the bridge above. 
Back to our hike. We drove over the hill planning to hike and stay the night in Martinborough - the latter part we did. 
As we left the sealed road and hit gravel, realising we had no cell coverage on either phone it also dawned on us we didn't tell anyone else where we had gone. 
The rain was pretty bad and was sticking to the Tararua ranges, it had been clear on the Wairarapa straights driving there. 
Our wee 2 wheel drive car coped well on crappy gravel in pretty decent rain. We passed a Caldina stuck in a ditch at the side of the route causing a tiny moment of concern and making me glad I learned to drive on gravel. 
At the carpark there are great loos (flushing vs a long drop at the park entrance) and two Doc shelters with maps and didimo cleaning gear. About 5 4wd vehicles were in the carpark no doubt trampers or hunters. 
We ate our lunch under the shelter above while it poured after our walk.  Honestly crossing the bridge was awesome and I am really not keen on heights. Instead of heading into the bush we walked down to the river which was amazingly clear - very beautiful from above in a way photos don't do justice. It must be a great kayakers river. We also saw a couple of abseiling places which would be wicked if you are into that. 
The rain really got the better of us so we packed up after about 90 mins and headed into martinborough where we took another walk under ominous clouds before settling down for a lovely Pinot Grigio. Sunday was so horrendous I didn't even take any photos. Definately the scariest drive over the hill we have ever done. 

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