Right Valley Side

| General Information | Left Valley Side | Pole Bridge | Magik Rock |

The right valley side is a walk of about 45 minutes up the valley to a big platform from which one can look down into the valley with its gigantic rock formations.   Three bridges (numbers 4,5 & 6) were built along the walkway and the big platform at the top end.
Bridge 4 called "Luke" & bridge 5 called "Amelia" have been built before the bridges on the left side.   They are close together and lead further towards bridge 6.

"Luke" is in the foreground and "Amelia" just behind in the back

"Amelia",  as seen from the top,   "Luke" in the background.

 

Bridge 6,  called "Rita". Unfortunately there are no photos available during construction.

"Rita" bridge finished,   view from top going up the valley.

"Rita" bridge going up the valley.

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The job is done.  The very first bridge is completed. 

Better hit the nail instead of the finger !!!
The safety netting is stretched out between the posts.  It is stapled to the rails on top and the bridge beams. If you hit your finger with the hammer,  have it bathed in a solution of Epsom Salts.  It helps immediately.
 
The two journeymen Willi Huss and Kurt Wagner are leaving us.  They stayed with us for a few days and helped us to construct the "Rita" and "Amelia" bridges. Good bye,  and many thanks ! What are journeymen?  If you do not know click here !!

 

The platform named "Karl" was the last structure to be built during the first development stage.  It was done during a New Zealand winter.  The building materials were already taken to the location in autumn and the tools and generator followed at the beginning of July when it was already very wet,  so wet that no tractor or 4 wheel bike would get through.   The generator had to be pulled on a sledge by hand through the wet Hokianga mud.

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First temporary trial with timber to position the main beams.

 

The platform is "glued" onto a big boulder with 9 Bowmac Special fittings using epoxy resin.  Each bracket is capable of supporting over 3,000 kg.  That would total a load of 27,000 kg,   which would be about 340 people of 80 kg.  Not that we would ever have so many people on it,  but according to calculations a much smaller rod could take the load.   The size has been chosen to ease the mind of tourists,  who might be scared to entrust their lives on 9 bolts of 10 mm diameter.

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Bowmac Special Fitting on 16 mm rod drilled into basalt rock.
 

The first main beam was only put onto two brackets,  as I was working alone and there was nobody around who could secure me on a rope.  The view over the valley is just stunning and the markings on the boulders on the other valley side are phenomenal. The size of the beams is 200 by 100 mm. They are supported on both ends and in the middle,  to take a load of 500 kg/m2.  I think I could park the bulldozer on this platform.

The first main beam
First main beam on just two brackets
 

All three main beams are in place and soon the joists will be fixed to the beams.  The construction is designed in a way that no nailing plates or other standard brackets are used.  All stresses are passed on by direct contact (timber to timber or timber to steel).  As well, no stresses are passed on through the stainless steel bolts,  except the horizontal forces that act on the posts of the rails.  The entire construction is bolted and no nails are used at all except for temporary fixtures or to nail down the planks. All bolts are used just to hold the timber in place.

The firts joist
All three main beams in place:  some supports are still missing.
  

Three posts for the handrail on the left side are bolted onto the main beams and the joists.  This ensures a strong connection between the beams, joists and posts.  The size of the posts is 100 x 100 mm.  The whole platform will be stronger than our cattle yard,  but then consider: cattle know how to act,  whereas some tourists not used to the wild and raw nature of New Zealand's back blocks cannot know the dangers and risks,  so we better make sure they do not come to any harm at all.

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The joists are laid out and the posts for the left hand rails are in place. Two supports are still missing.
 

A few pictures of the finished platform. 
One realises that utmost prudency in its construction was first priority.

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The first step onto the platform is very impressive and the further steps are even more impressive
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The look down into the valley is simply unique, superb and stunning.

Here is the view from the bottom up.  There is some fluting to be seen on the rocks.


View from the platform.

The view from the platform is breath taking.  It looks like a river of basalt boulders flowing slowly down towards the sea.  It seems time has been frozen.  Be aware that it took 2.8 million years to create such extraordinary scenery.  The fluting on the rocks points in very different directions,  as the boulders turned and tossed around through the millions of years.

  

| General Information | Left Valley Side | Pole Bridge | Magik Rock |