Bird’s Ferry Sunset, New Zealand
Shifting gears, we now take you back to the West Coast of New Zealand to a charming Bed and Breakfast we stayed at in Bird’s Ferry. This was the view from the back yard which overlooked the ocean – absolutely breathtaking! Bird’s Ferry is just south from Westport, a town s located on the northern bank and at the mouth of the Buller River, close by the prominent headland of Cape Foulwind.
There is evidence that Māori settlers lived in the Buller (Kawatiri) area from very early on. Legends actually place the first visit as early as 950 AD via the waka Tahiriangi with its chief Ngahue. The settlers appeared to live mostly coastal lives, though they explored the mountains for pounamu (jade or ‘greenstone’), which they then traded with other iwi
The first white settlers came to Westport in 1861 as gold miners and the first European vessel known to have entered the river was the sealing schooner Three Brothers in 1884. The 1880s saw many exploratory parties of geologists and surveyors combing the area for the presence of valuable resources and taking the measure of the land. While gold brought initial interest to the area, and for example, led to large areas of the coastal areas (covered by sediment from the river) being dredged for the valuable mineral, the area soon became much more famous for coal mining, still a dominant concern in the region today.