Point Elizabeth Walkway
- There are two points of access – from the end of the Cobden North Beach Road, 6km from Greymouth, or 12 km north on State Highway 6 beside Seven Mile Creek bridge, Rapahoe. Both places have car parks.
Seascapes, coastal forest and gold mining remains are features of this 5 km walking track, linking Cobden's North Beach with Rapahoe, just north of Greymouth.
From its northern end the track climbs to an open terrace, slowly regenerating in native growth after years of farming. Beyond there, in Rapahoe scenic reserve one of the finest remaining tracts of mixed coastal forest in New Zealand extends from the limestone range out to the cliff edge.
Besides large podocarps (rimu, kahikatea and miro) plus a dense understory of smaller trees, shrubs and ferns, there are epiphytic northern rata adding a splash of crimson during summer. Native birds such as fantails, tomtits, grey warblers and bellbirds are plentiful at any time of year. The track is mostly level as it follows an old water race, built by 19th century miners to sluice their gold claims. Much of the track formation also dates from this era, including deep cuttings that would have required considerate effort with pick and shovel.
Gradually the sea can be heard as big forest gives way to more stunted growth and waves of flax on the Point Elizabeth headland.
A branch track runs out to the point where there is a picnic table with panoramic view. Offshore 'sea stacks' remain as a reminder that the point once extended much farther out to sea. After winding and undulating for a while the track begins to descend toward Cobden's North beach.
One of the West Coasts richest gold rushes happened near Point Elizabeth late in 1865. The successful Prospector was 'Darkie' Addison, an Afro American who made three major gold discoveries between Greymouth and Westport in as many years.
- 5.0 km
- 2.0 hours
- Plant Life
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