Home > New Zealand > North west coast – driving heaven

North west coast – driving heaven

November 18, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Rather rudely, I have lumped the North West Coast into one – it is not that it is not pretty, but that we made the most of the driving, and dispatched the area quite quickly. To give it credit, the west coast is pretty stunning. Whilst the “attractions” are well spaced, it is one of those places where it is about the journey and not the destination.



mile after mile of stunning views

tight squeeze for a fat camper

we are all going slightly mad!!!!!!

Highlights for us include staying overnight at the disused railway station of Kawatiri up the valley from Motueka; meeting the guys from Idaho who only an hours drive away woke up to snow at the same time as we were baking in the sun (an hour in the other direction); we also remember feeding poor cold Canadians coffee at 7am in the morning whilst they waited for their bus connections and the walks through the old tunnels and bridges.

At this point we had to make a decision: do we drive down to the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers or not. A trip via an i-site information office put the last nail in the coffin when we were told that only over 8’s were actually allowed near the glacier and that we would have to pay $100 each for the pleasure. The walk up the glacial valley only gets you “near” the bottom of the glacier which is a shame. Given our restricted time, I think the south of the South Island will have to wait for another visit with older children.

lovely sign as we reach the coast - unfortunately we did not see any

pretty rugged - this is actually an old inlet to Charleston, south of Westport; just to the right of this picture we found someone panning for gold - and finding some!

what happened next?

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