Posted by: sunnyharvy | April 6, 2016

Up the West Coast

We have enjoyed remarkably good weather for most of our trip so far with just a day or two of showers and not much wind to speak of. The West Coast of NZ is notoriously wet and, as if on cue, it began to rain right before we reached the coastal highway at Haast. It continued to rain through the next day and night and into the next morning. Because we didn’t want to miss any scenery we laid low for an entire day at our campsite at Lake Paringa.


Skies beginning to clear at Lake Paringa.


Luckily it didn’t rain hard enough for this sign near our campsite to be a concern.


We came upon this pile of rocks at Bruce Bay.


Many had interesting messages left by previous tourists.


I’m sure many feel the way this couple did. We are grateful to have as much time as we do to explore this diverse country. Still not nearly enough though.


Bruce Bay was voted one of NZs top ten beaches.


Interesting to see the toe of Fox Glacier just a few miles from the sea.


The sun was shining full again as we settled in to camp at Okorito. This small village is now home to around 30 permanent residents, but it was once a gold mining boom town.


Reportedly the oldest surviving building of its type on the West Coast.



Great shot of James and Eva Donovan.


Wonder what goes on in Albert’s hut.


My Albert contemplating the Tasman Sea.


The rare kiwi bird is known to live in this area. We did not see one.


This mosaic labyrinth was created by the members of the Hari Hari community.


Some of the tiles included personal messages.


The Great Coast Road is sometimes like driving through a fern tunnel.


Quite challenging to drive as many of the roads here are – narrow and winding.


Driving here takes intense concentration…


especially on the numerous one-lane bridges.


Nice reward at days end: sunset at Hoktikita Beach.



Early the next morning Mt. Cook was visible from the beach. This area is known for this unusual view, but we only got this one glimpse due to constant cloud cover. (I know it is nearly impossible to see in the photo, but I had to try.)


More narrow bridges. This one is even shared with trains!


More slow curves – it takes forever to get anywhere here…


but the scenery is worth it.


Can’t put a road any closer to the ocean than this!


Reminds me of the Northern California – Oregon coast.


  1. So fun to see NZ – gorgeous Bruce Bay / beach and the rock pile, Fox Glacier toe, Tasman Sea, fern tunnels, 1 way narrow bridges, mosaic labyrinth – I love the tile “Smiles cost nothing – be happy!”. There is a lot to learn from jimmy Donovan from his 90 mile trek to meetings for council member service!

  2. Really enjoying your NZ travelogue and wonderful photography. Two questions: first, does it feel exotic or familiar? Second, what are the Kiwis like? (The people, not the birds.)

    And at some point, it would be interesting to hear about the overall cost of travel there in comparison to the U.S.
    Keep up the wonderful updates.

  3. Your photo of Mt. Cook is great from that beach! The spectacular-ness of the place never ends. Love your perspective 🙂

  4. wow~

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