Westland

Many folks on New Zealand’s North Island, when hearing we would also spend time on the South Island, enthusiastically sang the praises of its beauty, its wonder, its charm.  Our question at these times was, “Why then are you living on the North Island?”, which resulted in some humorous and interesting responses.  Now that we have been down south for all of four days, we too are experiencing its uniqueness:  temps are cooler, people are fewer, and the countryside is dramatic.

Reforestation

Logging is a major industry all over NZ and wherever we go, we see trees being cut, logs being transported and hillsides being reforested.  We’ve learned that through genetic engineering, a prime tree reaches maturity in only 19 years – amazing!

We had a varied and splendid day as we drove from St. Arnaud to Greymouth today – the weather was cloudy, misty and occasionally downright rainy, but we carried on intrepidly.  We followed the Buller River throughout the day, first of all viewing it from a high bridge,

VKs on the Buller River (Note Gerry's NEW hat!)

then crossing it on a lonnnngg swingbridge – talk about feeling weak in the knees!  I made the entire crossing without looking down at the water once. –

Don't look down!

and finally seeing it pour into the Tasman Sea.

A detour to view a seal colony turned into an animal smorgasbord:  we discovered the weka (NZ’s indigenous flightless swamp hen), a HUGE herd of farmed deer, and a flock of sheep using the road as a pasture transition.

Weka, sheep sharing the road, and a HUGE herd of deer

Further down the road in the middle of a National Reserve, we stopped to view the Pancake Rocks.

Pancake rocks

Gerry can explain why they have formed the way they have if you ask him – it was enough to be awed by their appearance and enjoy their uniqueness — a wonderfully rich day.

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3 Responses to Westland

  1. Jeanne Engelhard says:

    What awesome pictures!! What a marvelous trip!

  2. Craig Van Kooten says:

    Hard to notice the hat w/ those great legs showing!! Great pics, almost feel like I am there with you!! Key word ALMOST!!

  3. Sally Tripp says:

    Take note of Lake Moeraki in South Westland. It is my favourite part of the world. The forests have never been logged and there are lots of birds. The trees drip with ferns and there are also many ground ferns. We have stayed at the Wilderness Lodge there a couple of times. The walk to Monro Beach is also stunning. That starts just nearby the Wilderness Lodge.
    Also take time to stop at Ship Creek for a short walk through a wet forest. You might even get to see a dolphin swimming close to the shore.
    Cheers Sally

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