Aorere Valley

The Aorere valley follows up the river from Collingwood, at the river mouth, through Rockville and Bainham, to Brown Hut at the start of the Heaphy Track.

Rockville is home to the Settlers’ Museum – in the former Rockville Dairy Factory – which houses a range of farm machinery and various other objects of interest, dating back to the days of the early settlers in Golden Bay. The museum is maintained and developed by a group of enthusiastic volunteers. On some Sundays during summer, they have a “steam-up” when the various steam engines in the museum are set going. Vintage tractors can often also be seen driving around. The store at Bainham, now known as the Langford Store, was the source of goods and the Post Office for the Bainham area for most of the 20th century. It is now a museum / store / tearooms and well worth a visit for a cup of tea or coffee, of course accompanied by home baking, and a look around the artefacts of yesteryear. www.langfordstore.co.nz
The store at Bainham, now known as the Langford Store, was the source of goods and the Post Office for the Bainham area for most of the 20th century. It is now a museum / store / tearooms and well worth a visit for a cup of tea or coffee, of course accompanied by home baking, and a look around the artefacts of yesteryear. www.langfordstore.co.nz

Beyond Bainham, the road deteriorates into a gravel road. Shortly after the end of the seal is a turn-off (left) to the Salisbury Bridge and Falls. The bridge, a suspension bridge constructed in the 1800s for the miners, was swept away in floods just a few year ago, after surviving for more than a century. The nearby falls are worth a visit.

The road ends at the Heaphy track car park just before Brown Hut, the starting point for the Heaphy Track, one of the “Great Walks” of New Zealand. This track is a “must do” on the list of hikes in New Zealand, emerging on the West Coast just north of Karamea.
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