Wednesday, January 6, 2016

From the East Coast to the West

We left Kaikoura in the rain, and arrived in Westport in the rain, about 5 or 6 hours later after having stopped in the resort town of Hanmer Springs to have lunch and a look around. The town was teeming with people heading to and from the hot springs complex, and parking was at a premium. The rain I'm sure was very welcome in most parts but here we were in the southern Alps and I wanted to see what we were driving through. Oh well. We checked into the Top 10 Holiday Park at Carter's Beach and moved into our "kitchen cabin" (a spacious two rooms, one with bunk beds, and the main room with a queen size bed, table and chairs and a kitchenette--2 burner hob, no oven) for the next three nights. The rain persisted all night...a torrential downpour that didn't let up until breakfast. A cyclone had passed over the top of the north island and as a result the whole country was getting rain. 

The next day we walked along Cape Foulwind--another landmark named by Captain Cook. It was windy but not foul.

On Monday we drove north to the Oparara Basin...impressive limestone formations surrounded by magnificent west coast NZ bush. This area was logged up until about thirty years ago but the riparian areas were protected. Here are some photos of the Oparara arch, Mirror Tarn and Moira Gate Arch.

In the "Crazy Paving Cave" was a cave spider nest...

Finished off the day with a beautiful west coast sunset just after 9 pm!

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