Where to after Kurow?
Traveling further up the valley will take you to the dam at Lake Waitaki. Beyond that, is similar at Lake Aviemore, with another small town on the route, Otematata, near the base of the spillway at the Benmore dam.
Or you can cross the bridge over the Waitaki at Kurow, swing right and head down the north bank of the river to the Coast, or via the Waihao Forks to Waimate and ultimately onto Timaru and Christchurch.
Traveling the north bank, is not dissimilar to driving on the south side. Established farms on sprawling countryside. The diversion via the Waihao Forks takes past the hotel of the same name.
This pub holds a special place in Kiwi folklore, as here stands a bottle of beer with a touching story.When local farmer, Ted d'Auvergne headed off to WW II, he apparently told his mate, 'we'll drink this when I get back'. Ted never made it and the bottle has stood since in a glass display, as reminder of the many who never returned.
Kurow's 15 minutes of fame
The 1938 act promoting 'the care and welfare of citizens was a government responsibility', which was described as the 'first comprehensive and integrated system of social security in the western world', was born here in Kurow. Sparked by a visit from the then Labour party opposition leader in New Zealand, Michael Joseph Savage, who was appalled by the conditions the men building the Waitaki dam were working in. A few later as Prime Minister, Savage and co, introduced the act designed to provide support and welfare in such situations.
No doubt the saying, great things come in small packages! Click here to read Part II about The Great Waitaki Valley.