The main river that’s near to us is the Pomahaka River and recently I realised I wasn’t too familiar with its course so one afternoon I suggested we drive downriver from our nearest contact point with the Pomahaka. West Otago and Clydevale, Clutha District, New Zealand. I took these photos 19 Feb 2021.

Click on any photo to enlarge.

When we head toward Gore from Tapanui we soon reach the Pomahaka River. I took this shot while standing beside the highway bridge. Regularly floods here when we get a lot of rain.

We turned around and took the sealed road to Conical Hill / Waipahi, turning off onto a gravel road at Conical Hill so I could get more photos of the river. That’s the road bridge and behind it you can see the reflection of the old railway bridge.

We explored down the gravel road – it’s where I took photos of the yellow monkey musk flowers and the weedy yellow hieracium flowers. After taking the hieracium photos I climbed down a steep bank and got this photo of the river. Incidentally, these yellow flowers are a small scattering of monkey musk flowers.

Then we returned to the sealed road and drove through Clinton and Kuriwao, turning off at Black Bridge Road and driving toward Clydevale (and therefore getting ever closer to the mighty Clutha River). Where this road crosses the Pomahaka is the closest we could get to where it rounds a bend and then flows into the Clutha River.

This is the upstream view from the bridge across the Pomahaka.

Black Bridge Road bridge, across the Pomahaka River.

Downstream view is pretty nice.

I took the next photo before we got as far as the bridge, so prior to the last three photos. Looking toward the bridge and you can also see scraps of plastic silage wrap stuck in the trees from floods – not a good look.

Taken from a similar position to the last photo but this time I’m looking downstream where the Pomahaka disappears from view and soon flows into the much bigger Clutha River (which eventually runs through the town of Balclutha and then on out to the south coast).

I’ve done past posts with photos of the Pomahaka River upstream from the Tapanui-Gore highway.

Text and photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2021)

14 thoughts on “Downriver

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  1. I’m wondering if the second part of the word Pomahaka is the same as the Māori ceremonial dance. I did some searching but could find an answer to that, nor to what poma might mean. How well I remember all those one-lane bridges and the signs that tell who has the right of way.

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  2. I also like to follow the courses of rivers, Liz. But often one can only explore short stretches because the road doesn’t parallel the entire course. I sometimes imagine floating down some waterways on a raft…

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  3. This is beautiful country, Liz, with the rivers and rolling hills! It’s easy to see why you and Nigel like it there and love to get out exploring these byways.

    Your last image is very inviting, makes me want to spread out a picnic and wade into the water.

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    1. I live in Tapanui, the town right by the Blue Mountains – so I’m close to Merino Downs! Lovely (and amazing) to know you’ve visited here!


  4. Lovely scenery – which both reminds me of places in Scotland and provides a few moments of imaginary wandering in the countryside. (A happy escape from lockdown for a little while!) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dunedin was a Presbyterian settlement and we have ‘burns’ all over the place down south! –which I think I’ve mentioned before but it’s quite a thing. And I found a ‘burn’ the other day not far from Tapanui!

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