Shanty Town

Our Stop At Shanty Town Prior to reaching Hokitika we’d already decided to make a stop at Shanty Town. The stop was a bit of a “I guess we should have a look” attitude for me. My expectation was not high. How wrong could I have been.  Shanty Town is a must visit. As a “living” historic venue I believe it puts the likes of Motat in Auckland to shame.  The many buildings with all their associated paraphernalia, eg, the … Continue reading

Resting At Lake Brunner

Resting At Lake Brunner As expected, Lake Brunner was a much needed rack out day. We loved the accommodation and felt comfortable just hanging out, playing cards and reading. In fact I was very happy sitting out in the sun reading when I had to give up and go inside our unit. There were a couple of “friendly” wekas who apparently ruled the area. I use the term “friendly” definitely tongue in cheek as we had witnessed their regard for … Continue reading

Heading to Lake Brunner

Now We’re Heading To Lake Brunner I’m not sure what day of the week it is, but now we’re heading to Lake Brunner for a couple of nights. We’re expecting a less hectic time than Westport and I have to admit, I’m looking forward to the chance of doing some reading. Because the high tide is not until 4.28pm we are in no hurry as we want to time our arrival at Punakaiki and the Pancake Rocks – a little … Continue reading

Last Day In Westport

Last Day in Westport We wondered what we might do during our last day in Westport, but the day disappeared very satisfactorily. Our visit to the museum – aptly called the Coaltown Museum – helped many of Jet’s stories fall into place. Watching the videos and seeing the exhibited paraphernalia made sense of much he had shared with us yesterday. As its name suggests, the museum is purely focused on the history of coal mining in the area and is … Continue reading

With Our Very Own Guide – Another Westport Day

Another Westport Day With Our Very Own Guide Our very own guide ex-Navy friend Jet took us in a different direction today. With the sun shining yet again, against the predictions of the weather department, we headed south from Westport. Again, his knowledge and extreme commitment to the area we travelled through amazed me. As we drove, his varied stories included historical details as well as a running commentary on life as a Coastie. We saw the best fishing spots … Continue reading

Westport – Through Eyes Of A Local

Seeing Westport Through The Eyes Of A Local What better way to see any area than through the eyes of a local. While in Westport, we are visiting with the Best man from our wedding. With John (or Jet as he was christened in the Navy) as our chauffeur and guide, we’ve already seen a side of Westport not normally visible to tourists. First a drive around Westport township before heading north through all the little villages up Highway 67. … Continue reading

Westport – Forenoon Excursion

Exploring Westport Our initial foray into Westport’s many attractions included the seal colony and Cape Foulwind. The first thing I noticed as we headed to the seal colony was not the seals, but the wekas. If we saw one weka, we must have seen a dozen on the short walk to the headland where the colony exists. I suspect tourists may be feeding these birds as they approached us with no sign of fear. The second thing obvious around that … Continue reading

Goodbye to Marlborough

Its Time To Say Goodbye To Marlborough. Its now time to say goodbye to Marlborough as we begin checking out the West Coast. We have enjoyed our visit and acknowledge there are many attractions we did not have the time to experience. We’re sad to leave and expect to return again one day. Hopefully in the not too distant future. We had perfect accommodation. Uncle Abel’s Cabin is in a quiet part of Motueka and within an easy walk into … Continue reading

Following Merville’s Footsteps

Following Merville’s Footsteps To Pangatotara Do you sometimes do something really stupid – or not do something sensible – and live to regret your crass thoughtlessness? That’s where I am right now. Kicking myself. I had this great plan of following Merville’s footsteps to where she worked many years ago. During World War II my mother worked on a tobacco farm in or around Pangatotara. I have no idea exactly where this farm might be, so I visited to Motueka … Continue reading

Ngarua Caves

Ngarua Caves On Takaka Hill On their advertising leaflet the Ngarua Caves are touted as “a middle earth experience” on Marble Mountain. Who would I be to wonder if this is stretching the truth a little without going to find out. Getting to these caves was not as simple as the route on a map suggested. We headed out of Motueka toward Takaka Hill, acknowledging our hostess’ comment heavy rain a few weeks ago had had an impact. We soon … Continue reading