Reefton to Westport

Day six

I woke early to the sound of the Inangahua flowing ripple over rock behind me, but was in no rush to get up.

Last night we stood there exhausted and silent after setting up camp. Horse turned to me and said “drink?” I nodded in agreement and so off we wandered, following the echo of a poorly played Shadows cover (Apache) towards the closest watering hole to pour a libation to a deity that would forgive our sins. Needless to say we spent quite a long time at the alter that night.


There was a rustle, Horse was stirring, so was I. We saddled up and had a look about the old gold town before taking seat at the Broadway tearooms and bakery for breakfast. Horse had pie, I settled for a large slice of sponge roll and a cup of tea.


As we rode out of town we stopped at the pioneer cemetery, before pushing hard along the plains to avoid the predicted headwind. We arrived at Inangahua Junction about 11am and joined the Buller river for the run to the sea.

img_1431We heard it before we saw it. An old beaten and black Toyota 4WD screaming past us and hand painted on the back in big bold white letters were the words ‘Fuck 1080’. I turned my head and looked at Horse, he sniggered. It was clear we had arrived on the West Coast.

The road rambled on, following the rapids down the gorge, under Hawks Crag and we soon made the coast.

I stopped at the bridge crossing the mighty Buller and looked beyond. On the other side, away on the other side, was Westport. I took a moment, raised my right hand and made salute to a town of past demons, then turned my wheel south and satisfied. We headed for Cape Foulwind. Done for the day.

Today’s top track – The Stone roses, fools gold

9 thoughts on “Reefton to Westport”

  1. Hello Azinfische — I contacted you about a year or so ago, with the same query about Philip Hodnot.
    The family graves you visited, of Philip and Elsie Salmon at Reefton are definitely not relatives of yours. I can trace ‘my’ Grandfather back from his death in Reefton in 1903 to his birth in London. All the official records refer to him as ‘Phillip Salmon’, no mention of Hodnot or even an H to signify a middle name. He spent all his time while in New Zealand working in Westland not venturing into the Otago region.
    I know of other family groups who have made the the same mistake in linking ‘Philip Hodnot’ with our ‘Philip’.
    I would be quite happy if you wished to contact me about this,

    1. Sounds like I’ve drawn a long bow on this one and sorry for the late reply! I’ve missed you past post.
      I saw it in a family tree in the family some time back, so will make note to rectify. I’ll craft up a retraction to the post. Apologies if I have caused offence. It wasn’t my intent.

      1. Hello Azinfische — No offence at all — in fact I find it quite amusing ! At the moment in our level 4 lockdown I’ve been working on my genealogy and realise how easy it is to go off on a tangent especially if the dates coincide. A good story. Regs, Phil.

      2. Will need to find out what really happened to our man… I’d be keen to connect and assume you’re in the big city. I’m up often and keen for coffee if you are.


      3. Hello Pete, Yes, I’d (we’d) be interested in a coffee too. Send an email and we’ll see what we can arrange. We live in the Hobsonville area. Covid dependent !
        Regs, Phil & Jeanette <.

      4. Hello Azinfische — No offence at all — in fact I found it quite amusing ! During our level 4 lock-down I’ve been working on my own genealogy and realise how easy it is to go off on a tangent. A good story. Regs, Phil

    2. Kia ora kōrua! I am a relative of Phillip and Elsie and have been trying to do some research but have been struggling to find much about Phillip before he met Elsie. It would be great to connect Phil – is there an email address I could reach you by? Cheers

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