25. The Kyeburn Diggings, Danseys Pass and Top Dressing

We are still at the NZMCA park in Ranfurly. Lots of the other travellers (most I think) here have e-bikes, so we are still pretty intrigued by these.

I am doing all of our washing of clothes by hand at the moment, and hanging them outside on our transportable clothes line. It’s a bit of a pain-in-the-neck, and makes me appreciate washing machines but guess it’s no bad thing to be finding out about what I do and don’t appreciate about the travelling life!

We headed into Danseys Pass, going past the Kyeburn Diggings which lies next to the Kyeburn River, or just the Kye Burn as burn means fresh water anyway. The Kyeburn Diggings gained that name as there were so many miners digging there from the 1860’s onwards.

Like many of today’s routes/roads, Danseys Pass was was first used as a route through to mine pounamu by Maori, who showed it to early European settlers, who in turn developed it into a pack wagon route then a road when the gold miners started arriving in their droves in the 1860’s. This area had six unlicensed grog houses, or shanties, some of which received fines!

The banks have eroded into interesting patterns in places along the route.

The tailings are extensive across several kilometres and give an insight into how much ground people can shift – all by hand – when there’s gold involved and a living to be made!

We reached Danseys Pass Hotel in time for an early lunch of toasted sandwiches. It’s a lovely place, both inside and out – it oozes character.
Ruins of an old building opposite the hotel – made from the ubiquitous schist!
A pump shed.
This bridge across Kye Burn is out of order! Tempting…but no!
Heading further in towards the pass; beauty is everywhere.
The view down the other side of Danseys Pass – we only went as far as the top, then turned back.
A nice surprise at the top, as there was a plane engaged in top dressing. We watched it for ages.
There was a shed on the hill with a digger, which loaded fertiliser (superphosphate we supposed) into the plane each time it landed. A couple drove up, and one of them told us it was a Fletcher turbo prop, designed and built in NZ specially as a top dressing plane. Cool. He knew a lot, being a plane enthusiast.
Here it is just taking off from the runway.
The dust is the plane letting go of its load of fertiliser onto the farmland below.
On the way down, the sun was reflecting off the schist on the hills.
The layered nature of the rock, and the jointing, shows why it was such a great building material for houses in the gold mining days. It was easy to break into workable chunks.
Looks like all sheep farming around here.
We stopped back at the Kyeburn Diggings and did a token bit of gold panning on our way home. It was relaxing, but turned nothing up!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s