I asked my daughter what she would remember about the West Coast and the predictable answer I got was: “The RAIN!
Rain submerging our windscreen, but I was doing my best to stay under the small slither of blue above us and we had moments of clear as we chased the sou’wester up the coast. Damien’s advice was not to stop. My advice was to sight-see FAST.
Stop the car. Wait for a break in the rain. Run. See the rocks – Build a cairn – Run to the Glacier. Downpour starts. Run back to the car. Drive to the next interesting spot. Stop the car. Wait. Run.
And so our West Coast adventure when. Unfortunately not able to relax and enjoy our surroundings, constantly feeling damp, cramped, and in a car whose aroma increasingly began to resemble that of a wet dog. Heat continued to blast out of the vents keeping the building condensation and damp at bay, but all the whilst I’m saying “Look the bush is so gorgeous – this is how the whole of New Zealand should be” as we wind slowly through the lush deep-green bush hugging State Highway 6, the tops of the native Silver Beech trees permanently leaning eastward away from the prevailing winds that regularly batter the shore.
Below are a few photos of our journey north which include: The West Coast Salmon Farm (a yummy lunch of Salmon was had here), the dazzling stony West Coast shore line that was littered with Cairns built by tourists, the two glaciers Franz Joseph and Fox, Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, the living gold-mining town of Shanty, the interior architecture of the Cathedral of the Diocese of Nelson, mountain biking the Queen Charlotte Sounds between Anakiwa and Onahau Bay, and finally the awesome farewell sunset in Picton as we are due to board the ferry and me having a well deserved sleep on the floor of the Arahura ferry. Bon Voyage SI