Day 37 | Lake Kaniere to Ross

On the trail again

Date: 3 March 2024

Three days catching up with cuzzies -Grant, Sue, Ian, Drew & Liz – were great, but our knees were beginning to sieze up and with heavy rain threatening we decided to get in a day’s ride on the fine Sunday and hunker down in Ross. When West Coasters say ‘heavy rain’ you pay attention.

The rest of the Wilderness Trail is as varied and interesting as the first half. The historic Kaniere Water Race Walkway leads down to one of the earliest hydro power stations in NZ, then a short section on the road (caution: the painted ‘bike path’ is only half the width of the handlebars) leads to the old tramway beside the Hokitika River. Take the Wadeson Island track down to the bridge, and you may spot a kotuku.

A short detour into Jill’s home town and the Clocktower Cafe, where we had a damn fine coffee and the best pie ever – I’ve never seen, tasted, or touched a better crust anywhere.
Edit: A few months later we were in Hokitika again and I invited a few relatives to sample these pies. Hugely embarrassing. My venison pie had great lumps of gristle and was tasteless, the others said they wrre good, but without conviction, and I would not recommend them ever again.

After Hokitika there’s a brief diversion off the main road then it’s into the rest of the trail with some single-track loveliness and great views over the Mahinapua wetlands; a quiet road past Timber Tops, and finally, following the old railway line for 15 km south to Ross. We had the Sunday night roast buffet at the most honest pub in the universe, the famous and original Empire Hotel where Jill’s Nana worked as a teenager and learned to cook (about 100 years ago) and the locals leave their wallet on the bar. Ross has joined my list of Good Places.

Supplies: Ross has a good store.

Accommodation: Ross Motel. We
holed up to dodge a downpour.

These videos are best viewed on a computer screen. Turning your phone sideways helps.

Total distance: 56.41 km
Max elevation: 150 m
Min elevation: -1 m
Total climbing: 548 m
Total descent: -658 m
Total time: 06:30:01
Download file: day37.gpx

Battery use: 64% | 400Wh. A bit of a headwind sometimes, 3 days rest slows you down, and I wasn’t really trying


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