The story... Alpine gneiss and schist
This highest grade of metamorphic rock had its beginnings as sea bed sediment put down in the Jurassic period some 200 million years ago.
Movement of the crust of the earth through the collision of the Australian and Pacific plates forced the sedimentary rock down to such an incredible depth (some 27km down) as to be so close to the earth molten core that temperatures of over 700C and incredible pressure transformed, modified and re-mineralized this rock into one of the hardest, most resilient rocks found in New Zealand. To this day it is still being constantly extruded upwards by the continued moving together of the earth's crust, sheared off by glacial flows, then semi polished by collisions with lesser rocks in the flooding rivers.
Most of the rock is high grade Quartz Biotite Schist, some smothered in garnets, somewhat we call Granitoid Schist and rarer still the beautiful green and white hued Gneisses.
1938 brought a devastating earthquake to the South Westland district of New Zealand causing catastrophic landslides into the major river systems. The tributary creeks are flooded by flood carving their way through these landslides, tumbling and rolling millions of rocks down steep gorges, into the wide riverbeds and there on down to the Tasman Sea. This is where we harvest a small percentage of the millions of tonnes that would otherwise be lost out to sea forever. By handpicking the unmodified naturally weathered stone from the riversides we can supply a huge range of shapes and sizes as feature rocks, seats, benches, bridges, stepping stones, walling stone and cobblestones. We can also produce various paving, walling stone and super slabs by splitting and guillotining selected rocks. The stone is unique to this small area of New Zealand and no doubt unique in the world.