Fossils and Port Robinson

Last night, we took a picnic supper to Gore Bay.  It was a warm, breezy evening, unusual for this time of year.  Last week, when I took the children there for lunch one day, we had found a couple of rocks with fossilized bones sticking out of the top, and wanted to go back to take pictures of them.  They are in a place you can only go at low tide,  which is why we had to wait till evening yesterday.  We got there about two hours before low tide.

The boys took off down the trail to the beach as soon as they were done eating, taking a cloth shopping bag with them to hold all the mussels they were planning to collect!  The rest of us followed a little more leisurely.  We were able to find the fossils we had seen the last time without too much trouble–and then found more and more and more!  

A lovely paua shell.

Baby appreciates rocks, too–salty ones, especially!

Finally we made our way to the south end of Gore Bay, where the boys were diligently hunting.  After walking around a little on the rocks there, we decided to go around into Port Robinson.  This was the only access to the Cheviot area in the early days, 100-130 years ago.  Apparently, they would unload the ships and send the goods up some sort of track to the top of the cliffs.  They say there is no trace of the port left at sea level.

Port Robinson

I’m not sure what this tunnel was all about, but it opens out of the cliff just above the high tide line.  As you can imagine, the boys were pretty excited when their Daddy found it–that is the sort of thing you generally only find in mystery stories!

The tunnel that Daddy discovered in the cliff.

The boys, of course, had to practice their mountain-climbing skills, in addition to gathering a shopping-bag nearly full of mussels (now I have to figure out how to cook them!).  On our way back to the van, we stopped for a few minutes to chat with some tourists from Australia, and then got caught in the rain when it started suddenly.  No one minded getting a little wet, though.  Everyone agreed that this was a perfect way to spend an evening.

The largest chiton I have ever seen! They are normally 1/2-1 1/2 inches long; this one was 4-5.

Sea squirt


About NZ Filbruns

A home-school family living in New Zealand, with a desire to share what Christ has done for us.
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3 Responses to Fossils and Port Robinson

  1. Jenifer says:

    This is really neat. I remember going on walks with my Mom and brother and finding shell fossils. Those were the good ol days. I have never heard of some of these find that you found.

  2. Ian Johnson says:

    Hi- just surfing looking for fossil sites to explore with my two kids- any chance you could flick the directions on how to get to the Gore bay location as we are coming over from Greymouth in a couple of weeks. By the way the kiwi fossil hunters guide is excellent you can pick it up of trade me or amazon pretty cheap.

    • NZ Filbruns says:

      Just drive up Highway 1 and you’ll see signs pointing to the tourist drive to Gore Bay. You can go out Hurunui Mouth Road from Domett, or go into the center of Cheviot and turn towards the sea at the main intersection.

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