Views from the Crown Range on the previous day prompted me to explore the Gibbston Valley.
I went up Coal Pit Road, as far as the first closed gate and then, mindful of the sign warning that this was a back country road that could result in damage to vehicles, turned back. Despite the nice view of it from the Crown Range Rd, Coal Pit Road did not return the favour. Never mind, I liked the light under the canopy of one of the many vineyards in the Gibbston Valley.
The Gibbston Back Road looked interesting, though narrow and with a dry gravel surface. Around a corner, I encountered a ewe with three lambs. Sheep are not the brightest of animals and the four of them clattered off down the road, kicking up dust ahead of me. No matter what I did, I couldn’t persuade them to move sideways onto the grass verge until at last we came to a small patch of bush where, exhausted, they clambered into concealment.
I expect that the valley would be more productive in the golden hours at dawn or dusk, but it wasn’t doing a lot for me, so I carried on down the road into the Kawarau Gorge and on to “Roaring Meg” which is variously, two small hydro-electric power stations, and the creek that feeds them, flowing into the Kawarau.
Looking back upstream, I was somewhat saddened by the dead pine trees. There is a programme designed t eliminate wilding pines by poisoning them. In principle, I approve, but the dead trees left behind are an eyesore in an otherwise magnificent landscape.