My wife returned from Greymouth a couple of weeks ago saying how beautiful the Buller River is looking at the moment. Friday was the first chance I had to check it out. She was right.
The trip was a bit mixed. I found a great place to stay, the Riverview Holiday Park in Murchison. Reasonably priced, clean and very helpful staff. Even had wireless Internet. I think will be a good base for future photographic trips this region. The pub meal at the Commercial Hotel was good too. They were proudly showing the rugby on TV, not the Royal wedding. The royalists were apparently across the road in Murchison’s other pub, all dressed up. The only blot on the evening was the rugby result: the Auckland Blues beat the Otago Highlanders (due mainly to poor refereeing decisions, of course).
The Buller River is not easy to photograph, especially in the Buller Gorge itself. I haven’t yet found a good access spot yielding prize-winning photographs. More effort required here. Still, there were some very colourful photos:
That was taken from the spot close to the Iron Bridge. The river forms a large oxbow here and there are quite a few no exit gravel roads. Some give nice views over the river:
Driving back towards Murchison, there are stunning views from the main road:
At one spot when I was trying to get down to the river itself I heard a lot of noise in the undergrowth. A family of wekas emerged. As long as I kept still they seemed completely unconcerned by my presence.
The next morning, up before dawn, I felt quite frustrated. Murchison was covered in thick fog and I hadn’t identified the “killer” spot for a good dawn photograph of the river. There was a nice, moody shot from a spot close to the road (in the upper Buller Gorge):
While I was taking this, two little bush robins emerged from the undergrowth and started hopping around my feet. Later in the day I had the same experience with fantails, flitting around me catching the sandflies that I always seem to attract.
This last shot is from the bridge by the turnoff to the West Coast. (One my son used to jump off attached to a climbing rope. “Bridge swinging” I think they called it.)
So watch this space for some more images of this river!