We did finally make it to the West Coast! And so started the big drive south, where we tried to take in as much as possible along the way. There was rain, sun, beaches, lakes… pretty much everything really. There does seem to be a few rules around here: men over the age of 30 all have moustaches, and there’s a serious love of one lane bridges and whitebait (ew!)
We started our day with pancakes at Carter’s Beach
And continued down the coast to Cape Foulwind
There was a cute wee hut at the top of the hill
Up the road a bit further, to a seal colony
Bridges here are quite … different to home. Thankfully this one’s been retired!
Pancakes for breakfast, pancake rocks for lunch.
Photos don’t really do it justice. I didn’t realise the pancake rock area would be so big!
Yet another bridge you wouldn’t see at home… all traffic yields to the trains
When Wildfoods fest isn’t on, Hokitika seems to survive on pounamu and whitebait.
But we were interested in the gorge walk
The only problem for me, was this fricking massive swing bridge.
But after a lot of coaxing by Andy (and an all-American tourist cheer team), I made it!
The next day, we were greeted with the West Coast I expected to see.
So we decided to head east over Arthurs Pass
It might not look it, but the last part of the road up to the summit is at a 16% gradient, with some truly astonishing engineering.
At at Death’s Corner (yes, really!) we find a small group of Kea, ready to tear the rubber seals from our cars
With a beak that sharp, they’d easily do a bit of damage!
Still though, they’re pretty impressive birds.
The contrast between east and west was quite dramatic.
So we stopped a while at Castle Hill before heading back over the pass