Rush Pools & Argillite Mine
The postponement to a week later did the trick and we encountered a perfect, if not fairly crisp day for a walk up past the Maitai Dam to the Rush Pools and the early Maori argillite mine site.
There was a goodly amount of frost on the ground as we set off and the sun reflected beautifully off Charles Hufflett's bare legs. Its fair to say as we ascended the hill others stripped their leggings off. We climbed fairly steeply up from 158 metres to approx 530 metres. It was a good work out and the views were spectuclar in the crisp clean air.
Murray Dawson had studied up beforehand and was a "mine" of information going up the hill. We learned about two locally named rocks 'dunite' and 'Rodingite', with the Argillite mine as a fascinating spot. As you walk across the tinkling shards of mined argillite you reflect on local Maori mining it early in their history and then suddenly ceasing around 15th century. The historians seemd to argue about why, but it is generally accepted that invasion from Northern tribes may have precipitated the change. In any event slaves forced to carry boulders up from the Boulder bank would have been pleased!
We had 15 people on the walk and a pleasant sit in the sun at the top for lunch before returning to base. A great way to spend 3 + hours on a sunny Nelson day :-) Special thanks to Rebecca B, for her photograpghy and flroa knowledge and for Murray's history and geology research and input.
A wonderful day out.