40. Monkey Island then a Shift Inland

We had a lovely night’s stay in a freedom camping site near Orepuki, right by this beach. In spite of the many people staying it was a wonderful place to be especially as everyone was very friendly and chatty. Lots were European, young and travelling in tiny campervans.
The small hill centre left is Monkey Island which you can only safely reach at low tide. In the distance you can see Rakiura/Stewart Island.
Monkey Island again, closer!
Hmm what’s in these rocks?
That evening, everyone was on the dunes watching the sunset – one of those that gives you a glimpse into the meaning of the concept ‘glorious’!
Next day we drove on. At Gem Beach you can find small pieces of sea-polished hydrogrossular garnet if you search hard enough and have luck. The tide was in and it was blowing a cold gale but we managed still to spend half an hour walking along the cliffs!
Heading north, towards Ohai and Nightcaps, we stopped to walk across this historic bridge at Clifden with the Waiau River flowing beneath it.
The sea once washed this far inland so there was plenty of limestone to be seen.
We caught our first glimpse of the rugged Takitimu Range driving along in our car.
There’s a major coalmine just outside Ohai which is expected to keep producing coal for many years yet.
Not far from the coalmine we found a few triassic-aged fossils in a creek bed. This one may be related to the modern horse mussel family – some kind of pinna perhaps.
And this one is a Triassic gastropod of some kind.
This and the next shot are going back in time – a piece of Triassic ammonite that we found at Nugget Point and finally got around to photographing.

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