Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Shanty Town

One beautiful spring day we decided that we needed to go to the much heard about Shanty Town. Shantytown (10kms south of Greymouth) is widely recognized as one of New Zealands leading culture and heritage attractions. Over 30 historic buildings make up the recreated 19th Century pioneer town, inspired by the West Coast gold rushes of the 1860s. Its peaceful setting amongst regenerating native forest gives visitors the opportunity to step back in time, experience a range of activities and view fascinating relics from days gone by. Shantytown’s surrounds and historical theme provide a stunning backdrop for photography enthusiasts.

Shantytown’s newest feature is a unique bush saw mill experience - telling the story of milling on the Coast in an innovative way using audio visual techniques. Visitors follow a boardwalk through the heart of the mill - which appears to be working, to an interpretation area and hear typical “yarns” between workers in the deserted “smoko” room.

Other highlights include riding the steam train, gold panning, and having an old time portrait taken as a memento of your visit.

We were able to ride the steam train. It was powered by coal. The engineer reversed the train to fill it with water. It was the engineer's last day of work in Shantytown. He was "shifting" to Auckland. We went through the native bush and saw the unique bush saw. In the picture below you can see the bush behind Elder Archibald. Probably the ride on the steam train was the highlight of our time here in Shantytown.

We had fun wandering through the buildings and taking photos . Below you can see Merle in the "little shack out back."

Below you can see me outside of the school room. I have never done this in my career but it was a fun picture. We loved our time in Shantytown. It was a peaceful day and we always love going into historic places.
I had to take a picture of the flower below. It is beautiful and these grow as wildflowers at the sides of the roads on the south island. They are everywhere and simply beautiful. Some people grow them in their flowerbeds but I think they are most spectacular along the roadside.

Below you can see an iron lung. I was interested in this because of an experience Matthew Cowley had in giving a blessing to a 10 year old boy in Salt Lake City. The young boys mother had Matthew Cowley come to give a blessing. The young boy was in a coma. But when Matthew Cowley came back a week later this young boy was walking around. He thanked Elder Cowley for the blessing and asked if he would give his mates a blessing also. Miraculously, the boys were healed. They had polio.

We had a fantastic time on this day. It was fun to relax and play tourist for the day, although we did stop and visit with our people on the way back.