There is a local phenomenon in Greymouth that is possibly unique, but is certainly notable. The town of Greymouth is built on the banks of the Grey Riverwhich exits to the sea through a very narrow gap between two impressive uplifts,the Cobden Range to the north and the Omoto Range to the south, behind the town. The Southern Alps are around 50kms to the east and when the katabatic wind flows down from the south and east the alpine effect delivers fog and low cloud and very cold temperatures down the Grey Valley- and the effect is dramatic to say the least- impressive dense cloud rolls over the rangesand also funnels at pace through the gap.The cloud that funnels through the gap at ground level lowers the temperatures in the ‘CBD’ to little more than freezing before it continues merrily on to the harbour!The wonderful thing about the Barber is that the effect of it upon the rest of the township, that further away to the south is minimal, although it does offer some spectacular views!Brrrr!

Oh! And why ‘The Barber’? Opinions vary but the consensus seems to be that it is to do with the ability of the wind to cut through you like a knife, and we all know what barbers used to do, don’t we?


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