Friday, February 9, 2018

Queenstown to the West Coast

NZ's South Island contains some of the worlds great drives. There are various ways to explore NZ, including renting a campervan or a car and staying in camp-sites, motels, or AirBnBs. The campervans are expensive, and there are many signs saying 'Freedom Camping Forbidden', which effectively means that you have to stay in camp-sites. The motels are pretty mundane. AirBnB offers access to hundreds of funky little baches which their owners let out. 

We decided to rent a Camry to canter around the roads, and use AirBnBaches to experience that side of Kiwi Kulture. It was a good call, although occasionally the baches exceeded George's GTT (Grot Toleration Threshold)!

We started by driving from Queenstown to Wanaka, both of which seemed to be over-run with Asian tourists. It might be particularly bad at this time of year, with the Chinese New Year on February 16th, and many Chinese on holiday.

The Remarkables

Panorama from Coronet Peak near Queenstown

Jumping off Coronet Peak

The road from Wanaka to the West Coast goes over the Haast Pass. It is a spectacular drive. It is hard to take photos that don't look as if they belong on Chocolate Boxes. I tried, failed, and gave up!

Haast Pass drive

Haast Pass drive

Blue Pool 

Blue Pool

Jet-boat on the Waiatoto River, south of Haast on the West Coast

Shark's Tooth rapids


Mount Tasman across Lake Matheson at Fox Glacier

Another for a Chocolate Box!

AirBnB at Fox Glacier

Sunset from Matheson Café

Punakaiki Rocks north of Greymouth

Punakaiki Rocks

Beach shack near Fox River. Candles. No power. No fridge. Surf breaking all night. Gorgeous.

Beach outside our shack

Buller valley. The rain came.

Lake Rotoiti at St Arnaud in the Nelson Lakes area.

Lake Rotoiti panorama

Climbing Mount Robert

Beech forest

Tussock grass

Bach at Pohara, Golden Bay

Wharariki Beach, near Cape Farewell on the NW corner of the South Island

New Zealand fur seal at Wharariki Beach

Totaranui Beach at the western end of the Abel Tasman park

In about 1979 I ran an encounter group at the Ngarata Homestead at Totaranui for the Rainbow Valley alternative lifestyle community.

Pupu springs: said to be the purest water in the world.

Ruined farmhouse near the Takaka Hill

George with our AirBnB truck up the Motueka Valley

Inside the truck

A yurt on the same property

Inside the yurt

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