Leaving the West Coast – Up the River

Mt Hooker WestlandThis blog has been stuck up a creek down the Coast for a few weeks now. It’s time to get us out of there. We’d had a great week exploring and enjoying the West Coast, and were on our way south. After a walk at Ship Creek, we continued south to Haast and across the longest one-way bridge. We’ve never had to figure out how the passing bays work with an 8m truck Continue reading

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Up Ship Creek – Heading South Out West

Ship Creek walkOnce back to the main highway from Okarito we headed south, towards the Glaciers. But first, we came to Lake Mapourika. This is another gorgeous West Coast lake in the bush, carved by a long-gone glacier. We were just in time to catch the lake calm. While we were stopped there the breeze came up, and changed it Continue reading

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Weird Wood at Okarito

Okarito LagoonOver the previous couple of evenings wandering on the beach at Okarito I was impressed by the strange shapes of the driftwood. Before we left after our second night at the camp, I went back one last time to gather some round stones to replenish my collection; and also to gather some images of driftwood. It was a misty sort of morning Continue reading

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Chasing the Okarito Sunset – Act II

Okarito BeachAfter our kayaking adventures, and a bit of a rest, and our evening meal, we repaired to the Okarito Beach to watch the setting sun. It wasn’t going to be another sinking-into-the-sea sort of sunset, but that wasn’t going to stop us. It’s a lovely wild beach anyway, any time. I did get distracted for a start by some of the interesting driftwood. Continue reading

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Out on Okarito Lagoon – Kayaking

Kayaking Okarito LagoonEven before we got to Okarito, we’d begun talking about hiring a kayak to get out on the lagoon. And once we got there, we went to visit the nice people at Okarito Kayaks. We were too late for the coffee machine, but were able to book for kayaking the next day. We were hoping for a clear day so we could see the mountains. But we struck it even luckier Continue reading

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Onward to Okarito – Population 27

Okarito BeachAfter extricating ourselves from the Hokitika Gorge carpark, we headed back towards Hokitika and then south. South of Ross the highway heads inland with quite a lot of not very much at all. Except lots of lovely native forest. And views of mountains if the clouds aren’t in the way. And little lakes. Continue reading

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At Last – The Hokitika Gorge

Hokitika GorgeAfter our companions  from the West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail had headed off back home, we headed south to Hokitika. After visiting their scenic waste dump station we spent the night parked up on the south side of the Hokitika River at the motorhome place. It turned out to be next to the original Hokitika Airport which operated some of the earliest scheduled passenger flights in the country. Continue reading

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Up The Coast – The Rest of the Wilderness Trail

West Coast Wilderness TrailOur last day on the West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail dawned grey and threatened rain. We’d had a charmed run with the weather, and if we had to have some wet then this would be the day to have it. I enjoyed a quiet walk around Kumara first thing; doing a lot of reading of the various interpretation boards around town. In front of the hotel there is a whole series of them, with lots of different accounts of the early days. Continue reading

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Into the Wild West – Biking Day 2

West Coast Wilderness TrailAfter our rain-free first day on the West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail last week, we had more rain overnight at Lake Kaniere. And it was still quite gray in the morning of our second day. We decided to ferry the vehicles to Kumara at the start of the day, and this was a good plan. There was plenty of rain coming and going via the coast Continue reading

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Into The Wilderness – West Coast Bike Trail

West Coast Wilderness TrailAfter a night of rain, we woke to no rain. Which was a pleasant surprise. The forest was dripping but the sky was blue. It looked like we were off to a lucky start for our three-day ride. Before heading off from our overnight stop at Lake Kaniere I made a quick dash back to the lake that had been so gloomy the evening before Continue reading

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