The Top of Lake Wakatipu

Just spent a week up at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu. Was initially cold-as, but the weather soon improved. Went to Kinloch on the western shore first and then down to The Caples and Greenstone Rivers. then went up past Paradise to Chinaman’s Bluff at the start of the Dart river Walk. Came back down and stayed at the Lake Sylvan campsite near the end of the Routeburn Track.

Made the acquaintance of many sandflies who seemed remarkably friendly.

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Cambrian is the remains of an early gold mining town near St Bathans in Central Otago, about 40 Kms north of Alexandra. It is said that it is a wonderful place that you will never want to leave, until you have experienced a winter there. It was originally know as Welshman’s Gully and was one of the first places in Otago where they found gold. However there was another town nearby also called Welshman’s Gully so they changed the name to Cambrian, after the Roman name for Wales, Cambria.

There are lots of Welsh styled cottages there, many constructed of mud brick.

Got chatting to this guy, Bob, who had been living there since 1987. Note, even though built of mud, there are no eaves on the roof and it’s still standing. Eat your heart out you rain sodden North Islanders. He did say he was once watering his tomatoes that were planted against the side of the house and got into some trouble with some large wet patches.

If you know anything about Geology you will get this. I initially thought it was named Cambrian because there were lots of fossils up there, but was wrong.

The old schoolhouse.

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The Origins of “Gangster” Hand Signals

Maurice Chevalier and Stanly Holloway, the original mob members.

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Poolburn Dam

Poolburn Dam was bult in the Great Depression. It supplies irrigation water to farmers further down the Ida Valley. Spent three days here, getting up early to catch the sunrise. It is reasonably high, near the top of the Rough Ridge. I can see how it got that name. No snow at this time of the year but could be cold and miserable in the middle of winter I am sure.

I said in the video that there were about 20 cribs or fisherman’s huts but that is wrong, probably nearer 40. It is about an hour and a quarter out of Alexandra depending on which way you go.

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