Our north island adventure continued with some time in King Country. Settlers came late to this area, and not without conflict with the Maori. The land here was not easy and early access was via rivers, followed by train.
First, we did a little river exploration with something new to me – jet boating. Our captain was very skilled with the boat and we flew across the water.
It was like being a stone skipping across the water. Now, the river is full of rocks and rapids and shallow, but Cap’n Al knows that river and we wove back and forth.
All relaxed and happy in the sunshine. Every so often Al would really rev things up and send us spinning across the water in donuts. No time for pictures, then! Just hang on tight!
Part two of the day was about railroads. It took 32 years to build the rail line in this area, supporting both agriculture and coal mining. Tunnels and bridges – lots of them – had to be built. But – time passed and the line was eventually decommissioned. A local entrepreneur saw golf carts from America, thought of the rail line and voila!
We spent an entertaining afternoon riding the rails in a gas powered golf cart. Liv was in charge of things – the steering wheel is purely for show, but she did need to manage our speed. Hot, dry day so no need to worry about slipping, but we don’t want to follow too close.
Some of the tunnels were short – one was almost a kilometre long. All were a nice break from the heat.
The landscape reminds me a bit of parts of Montana, but sort of scrunched up. Lots of sheep in all those nooks and crannies!