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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 73

The Bealey Gorge Bridge

page 70

The Bealey Gorge Bridge,

Skirting along a rock-cutting at the foot of a bold mountain, wood covered to the bed of the river, we pass the big Rocky Bluff, and with a sharp turn are in the Bealey Gorge. Deep down at the foot of the Gorge the road turns and twists, giving ever changing views to the traveller Looking up the Gorge we see the peak of Mount Rolleston, with its shimmering glaciers, now shining sharply out, and then, as the fleecy mountain mists envelop it for a moment, it is hidden from our view. Looking back, the peaks of Mount Misery and Bruce, near the Bealey Township, are a striking contrast, with their tussocks and gravel covered sides. At Magson's Creek, now dry and showing immense boulders that give a good idea of the power of the water in flood time, we see on our right the famous Devil's Punch Bowl Waterfall, said to be over 400 feet in height, one of the most striking falls in the Colony. A little further, and as the roar of the fall dies away, we reach the Bealey Gorge Bridge. It spans a deep cleft, through which the river from which it takes its name makes its way, the foaming waters tumbling and tossing over boulders at a wonderful pace. Here we commence the ascent of Arthur's Pass, and a few minutes bring us to what will be the highest point, about 3,000 feet, reached by the Midland Railway. Our Illustration shows the Bridge from the western side.