A little sign beside a dirt road off State Highway 45, the Surf Highway in Taranaki pointed to Stony Creek Walkway. I don't think it said how far up the road it was but I figured I'd go a little way up the road and see. The countryside was pleasant and I stopped to stretch my legs, eat an apple and have a little walk around at the local Okato football grounds. Just a little further on I came to the local swimming pool and the Hangatahua River. I think. I thought I had it right until I looked it up and am now confused, it might be the Waiwhakaiho River. Either way, it's a very pretty, typical of the numerous rocky rivers and streams which drain the slopes of Mt Taranaki.
I loved the little suspension bridge, it bounced around with just me on it so I can imagine how a child would love it. It's definitely top of the list of places to take my grandson next time I'm visiting.
I didn't venture on to the walkway along the banks of the creek but would love to discover it with a child.
If I hadn't been on a mission that day I would have lingered longer. It was very pleasant beside the river with the sound of water running over the rocks, cows contentedly grazing nearby.
Back on the highway I pulled over beside the old and abandoned Okato and Puniho dairy factory.
Down one end someone, sometime, had tried to brighten it up.
Looking at the river photo I've just been reminded about another river photo I took, right on the outskirts of New Plymouth. This is taken from a house building site. It's higher above the river than it looks. I admit it is a fabulous view but I think that is a slip in the hills directly opposite. That would make me a bit nervous about my foundations.