After our trek up Castle Rock (yes, I keep wanting to type Casterly Rock), Andy, Higgs and I headed for Castle Point Lighthouse.
You may recognize some of these views if you read the last blog on Castlepoint back in 2015, but if you’re like me, it could never get old.
That is “downtown” Castlepoint right there. As you’ll notice, it’s pretty darn small. People don’t come for the nightlife, though. They come for views like this and some seaside tranquility.
It’s easy to see how time and tide has shaped this rugged landscape. Most of the rocks look like giant waves themselves due to constant erosion.
I could definitely get used to visiting this place at least once a year, seeing as it’s only two hours from Wellington and feels a world away.
We spent the rest of Saturday relaxing back at our bach before going to dinner at the Whakataki Hotel, Castlepoint’s main pub/accommodation. It’s very cosy and has delicious fare, although the nonexistent competition sure doesn’t make that a necessity. I had a delicious meal of butter chicken. Yum!
The next morning, we made an early departure and started on the drive back towards Wellington. Just before we came to the Rimutaka Road that would take us over the mountains that separate the Wairarapa region from Wellington, we decided to stretch our legs. When we saw signs for Waiohine Gorge, we were intrigued enough to drive quite a ways to check it out.
As you can see, it’s not on the main road.
We found a path down to the Waiohine River and were immediately happy we’d made the detour.
It reminded me a lot of Kaitoke Regional Park (a.k.a. Rivendell), minus the crowds.
Just look at these cliffs!
Boyfriend and Vallhund for scale.
Higgs had a good swim while Andy found some interesting rocks.
I love this next photo, since Higgs and Andy seem to be doing a synchronized pose.
Like father, like son.
We hopped back into the car and ventured further along the winding road through the gorge. When we came to another carpark with signs for a swing bridge, we had to take a look. Since the bridge wasn’t far, we decided to leave Higgs in the car briefly. He is not a big fan of swing bridges, and DEFINITELY wouldn’t have gone anywhere near this one.
Turns out, this bridge is the largest of its kind in NZ. It’s a full 12 stories (131 feet/40 meters) above the Waiohine River below and 400 feet/124 meters across. Needless to say, it’s not for the faint of heart. Challenge accepted!
The views from the bridge itself were unbelievably epic.
There was even a partially hidden waterfall cascading out of the bush.
If you feel like it, you can look straight down to the river below. Might as well look this beast of a bridge in the face!
I could’ve spent an endless amount of time on this awesome bridge, but there were other people waiting on the far side, and we did have a doggo to return to. This is yet another spot that highlights why I love New Zealand. In America, you’d probably have to wait in line or pay admission for this kind of unique experience. In NZ, it’s just in the middle of the forest, no big deal. Incredible!
Tomorrow morning, I’m off to Hobart to meet Andy at his work conference and explore Tasmania. I’m incredibly excited for my first ever trip to Australia, so you can be sure many pictures will follow. See you soon!