West Coast New Zealand

The next stop on our New Zealand journey takes us up the west coast. After leaving Fox & Franz Josef Glacier we headed north to Hokitika and checked into a beachfront hotel. We treated ourselves to room service and had an early night!

The next morning we woke up and spent a few hours walking around Hokitika which is known for it’s beautiful jade. I made my one purchase of the trip – a beautiful stone painted with a circular pattern….a great memory of our trip!

We then drove on to Lake Kaniere where there was a four hour hike along the lakeshore. After an hour we decided that, while beautiful, the scenery really wasn’t changing so Jeff took a swim and then we turned around and headed onwards

Lake Kaniere New Zealand

The visitor’s center in Hokitika gave us a map that noted that Dorothy falls was especially beautiful. You know by now that Jeff can’t pass up a waterfall so on we drove. Jeff was even brave enough to take a dip…..he concluded that it was the coldest swim of the trip 🙂

Dorothy Falls New Zealand

Close by was another site – Hokitika gorge. The water was the most amazing color blue due to the glacier dust (a common sight on our trip but it never got old). And yes we had to cross a swingbridge to get here – BOO!

Hokitika Gorge New Zealand

Turns out it was milking time! We encountered a lot of cows being driven towards the barn but this was the only time they crossed a road

Milking in New Zealand

The coast was beautiful! It reminded us both a lot of Route 1 in California

We reached Punakaki (the Pancake Rocks) in the late afternoon and unfortunately our timing was not correct for the tides where water spews out of the top. Nevertheless they are really beautiful and so unusual – definitely worth a stop! We considered coming back after heading north to find our hotel but we’d had enough driving.

Punakaiki Rocks New Zealand

Punakaiki Rocks New Zealand

We spent that night in Westport and had a really memorable dinner at The Townhouse where we enjoyed a delicious bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (that was also a common occurence!!)

The next morning we quickly visited the Cape Foulwind Seal Colony at Tauranga Bay and Jeff did some body surfing in the ocean. We headed inland and lunched at the Riverview Cafe in Murchison (seen below) – yummy food and lovely views!

Riverview Cafe Murchison

From there we drove onto Mt. Robert (you’ll have to wait until next week for those images) but in the meantime saw some beautiful sites along the way.

More sheep 🙂

This is a public service announcement about the road signs in NZ. There are a TON of one way bridges and it took us a few days to understand what the signs meant.

If you come upon the sign on the left it means that you should stop and yield to any oncoming traffic as they have the right of way

If you come upon the sign on the right it means that you have the right of way and should assume that any oncoming cars will yield to you

Have a great weekend – stay tuned….next Friday I’ll have pictures of our spectacular Mt. Roberts hike – our favorite of the trip!