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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 73

The Otira Gorge

page 69

The Otira Gorge.

It is extremely difficult either by a photograph, painting, or by any other means, to give any idea of the beauties of the Otira Gorge. Standing on the Zigzag below the Merino, we command a better view of the whole than from any other part. Looking ahead we see spur after spur densely clad with maiden bush, then Kelly's Ridge stands out boldly, while further away is Mount Alexander, its top perhaps showing the last patch of the winter snow. On all sides charming vegetation surrounds us. Quaint Nei-neis with their tropical foliage, beautiful ribbonwood with masses of white flowers; pretty little ferns hiding in nooks on the road side. Looking down we see the road skirting along the hillside on the right, cut out of the solid rock, only just wide enough for one vehicle to travel at a time. Near here is the Bridal Veil Waterfall, one of the most charming that can be seen. The fall appears to drop sheer out of the bush above, and dropping in spray—which at times goes right across the road, new running in a channel to the cliff it falls with a roar to join the Otira River, some fifty feet below. A wonderful sight was to be seen in June last during the severe frosts, when the whole of the fall was frozen, and the spray as it fell had formed beautiful stalactites, while the rest of the Gorge was deep under snow. As we make our way lower down, the Gorge opens out, ever offering new scenes to the interested tourist. Our Illustration is taken low down in the Gorge, and shows one of the bridges, of which there are two.