Blogs from West Coast, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania


Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast February 13th 2020

On the way back to shore the Captain from our Doubtful Sound Cruise asked with interest where everyone was going next. After we all elaborated on our travel plans, he just laughed at us all and went: “Not today, you’re not!” It turned out that while we had had mainly dry weather while out on the water, the water had been pouring down on the other side of the mountains. The wind was coming from the east (instead of the more common westerly winds) and trapped the clouds on the other side. As a result, pretty much every road was closed. We could not go north, east or south, and to the west we only the sounds. We were meant to go to Queenstown that afternoon, but were forced to stay for an extra night in ... read more
Beautiful lakes everywhere
Ready to Luge
It's like going skiing, but in the summer :-)

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast April 25th 2018

For continuity's sake the title of the blog should read Abel Tasman to Milford Sound, however the rip from AT to Westport was simply a nice but uneventful day of driving and not a lot to report on...this was one of a couple of what I referred to as "hump" days where all we did was drive, again necessary due to the times/distances and the things we wanted to see...even Westport itself was really just a stopping point; not much there other than a pretty cool beach where we camped (Carters Beach) and a colony of fur seals which we managed to was kind of the trail head to the West Coast track, and as it was about 6 hours of driving from Abel Tasman that was more than plenty for the day... I was ... read more
Falls at Milford Sound
Rockin' it on Franz Josef Glacier
Campsite at Milford Sound

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast April 14th 2017

After arriving in Greymouth, we picked up our new rental car and stopped for lunch. We hoped that by delaying our drive, some of the rain would move South and we'd have a more pleasant drive. It worked - for a time. Along the route to Franz Josef and the Rainforest Retreat where we would spend the evening, we stopped in Shantytown, Hokitika, and the old gold panning town of Ross. Michelle even tried her hand in driving on the left side of the road, and passed with flying colors.... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast February 14th 2017

Fri 3/2 and unfortunately the weather has not really cleared here at Franz Jospeh. I needed a rest day and Lance was driving me crazy so I sent him off on his bike with the waterproof camera and a raincoat:). The glacier valley track was open so he headed up there to take a look. Not as spectacular as he though it might and the weather conditions not favourable for photos today but the exercise brought him back with a renewed sense of life. The rest of the day was really spent reading books. Sat 4/2 and it’s raining so we head to the only laundromat at Franz Jospeh. It had only 1 working washing machine and 2 dryers. Basically the whole day was spent here gas bagging whilst everyone was waiting their turns to use ... read more
Lake Mapourika DOC Camp
Lake Mapourika
Okarito Lagoon

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast October 20th 2016

We are now working our way up the west coast having left Wanaka which was difficult as I thought it is my perfect home. It has a large lake to kayak in that is warm enough for swimming in summer, ski fields to keep me amused all winter, nice bars and restaurants and a lovely community cinema. We had a trip to the cinema before we left to watch Infetno ( ho hum even Tom Hanks can't really save this). The screen room seated about 80 and it was mostly mismatched 2 seater sofas, a few standard chairs and 2 vintage Morris cars with modified back seats - bonkers but lovely! Homemade ice cream and homemade biscuits at the intermission too which was a rather clumsy stop point. Anyway we tore ourselves away and drove up ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Haast September 14th 2016

Geo: -43.8811, 169.042We couldn't resist one more walk out on our beach in Hokatika - our little cabin had a direct route straight out. How tempting all those smooth rocks and bits of driftwood were! And the weather looked great.So, off we went inland for about 30 mins to the Hokatika Gorge - we were the first and only ones there for a while, absorbing the beauty and sounds of all the birds. Then south to Franz Josef Glacier. What was surprising was how seldom we were along the coast, AND how little we climbed. But what views over my left shoulder!! Count your lucky stars that we didn't upload all the shots@ Got to the village of Franz Josef - a typical ski town, lots of coffee shops and gear shops, and where to go ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Hokitika September 13th 2016

Geo: -42.7156, 170.968We left our little spot of paradise in Christchurch to climb climb climb.It was pretty much farmland for at least an hour, with very little climbing.Then we found beautiful peaks at every turn, black stone and white snowy streaks.The weather was gorgeous until we got to the very top of Arthur's Pass, then we were in the clouds. So, we were once again very blessed.We were very curious about where the transalpine train was - and we found it at the Mt. White Bridge. We appreciated being able to pull over to take all the photos we wanted.After the Arthurs Pass Village we stopped at the viaduct overlook for one last view - and were visited by 2 curious and "cheeky" keas. As you can see - one of them was waging war on ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast August 31st 2016

Franz Josef Glacier village The view from the hotel restaurant was amazing whilst having breakfast, but unfortunately, I left my camera and phone in my room. After breakfast, I went for a walk around the local area, as we had time to kill because some of our group were doing a flight over the glacier. I decided not to do it as I had flown over Mt Cook when I was in NZ in 2013 and figured nothing could top that! Fox Glacier village Once we left Franz Josef Glacier village, we headed south and Mark and Lu arranged to stop in Fox Glacier village to check out the views. Again, they were amazing! Haast Highway Leaving Fox Glacier we headed south along the Haast Highway Bruce Bay We came to Bruce Bay on the coast ... read more
Franz Josef Glacier Village
Franz Josef Glacier Village
Franz Josef Glacier Village

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast August 31st 2016

Haast Pass - Makarora Road Leaving Thunder Creek Falls we headed further along the Haast Pass - Makarora Road Makarora Lunch Stop And stopped in Makarora for lunch. The views from lunch were spectacular. I ventured out into the middle of the road to take some photos, even though it's the main road from the West Coast to the east. There weren't any cars to be seen at all, it was that quiet. Makarora River Leaving Makarora we continued along the Haast Pass - Makarora Road past the Makarora River Lake Wanaka Past Lake Wanaka Lake Hawea And past Lake Hawea, where we stopped at the lookout. Just amazing views! Lake Hawea to Albertown Road Leaving Lake Hawea we headed down the Lake Hawea to Albertown Road Lake Dunstan We went past Lake Dunstan Jones Family ... read more
Haast Pass - Makarora Road
Haast Pass - Makarora Road-
Haast Pass - Makarora Road

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast August 30th 2016

Otira Highway We all piled back into the bus made our way to Hokitika. Hokitika The Jade Capital of New Zealand, I didn't go into a jade shop, but I did wander around the town including: Beach (lunch spot) Department of Conservation Around town Haast Highway We continued along the Haast highway and headed towards Franz Josef Glacier Harihari Whataroa Lake Mapourika ... read more
Otira Highway
Otira Highway
Otira Highway

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