Mataura River Is My River

The Mataura River is my river or as part of a Maori greeting “Ko taku awa te mataura”. Before addressing anyone in Maori – in a formal setting – one should introduce oneself by giving a rundown of ones ancestry. So my greeting includes the Mataura river as Mataura is my birthplace. I don’t feel as much affinity with Mataura as I do for Colac Bay (where I spent most of my childhood). However I do feel a certain sense … Continue reading

Central Otago – A Quick Visit

Lake Wanaka Central Otago is one of the most picturesque areas of New Zealand. Whatever time of year, there are places that will steal your breath away because they are so beautiful. Lake Hawea Our arrival in Central Otago was the first chance to share some time with extended family. We were very happy to join a niece and her daughter for a joint celebratory birthday dinner in Clyde. Our restful day in Alexandra was most welcome after the busy … Continue reading

Goodbye To The West Coast

Time to say Goodbye to the West Coast I never expected to feel regret when time came for us to say goodbye to the West Coast. But I could have stayed much longer. There is just so much to see and do. As we settle in Central Otago for a couple of nights we’re so thankful for the weather we experienced over the last couple of weeks. It is wet and even cold in Alexandra – a town normally with … Continue reading

Hokitika to Haast

Hokitika To Haast On the drive from Hokitika to Haast I was struck by the number of lakes one can visit. We stopped at some but missed a few out. Being city folk nowadays we feel the need to keep the car pretty much topped up with petrol. You can never be sure where the next petrol station might be. So while the car was getting a drink, I slipped across the road at Whataroa to take a picture of … Continue reading

Hokitika

Our stop in Hokitika This weekend is Westland’s Anniversary Weekend. We did not realise this until I spied an “anniversary sale” sign. Not that it matters too much as most of the shops appear to be open anyway. We’ve wandered around and checked out some of the Jade and possum/merino clothing shops. A nice long walk along the black sandy beach left me with even more stones to carry home. I’m soon going to have to have a sort out … Continue reading

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