Click on my MyMaps to find all the points that I give you in this article.
After going up the coast, we went back down to Greymouth again. This big city is nice to stock up provisions at the supermarket Countdow because in small towns it’s more expensive. We return on the road again. (Greymouth looks like an industrial city, so we don”t stay long).
Let’s go for wonderful landscapes along the coast. We are very lucky, the weather is with us with a looooot of sun..
It is with pleasure that we continue our roadtrip
But before going down again, we fork towards Arthur pass, it’s there that begin the chain of mountains which will follow us all the rest of the road to the south. It’s much colder than elsewhere! In first , stop at Otira Stagecoach Hotel (point 243). It’s a place very atypical with statues of Gollum and Gandalf and an incredible interior decoration, you MUST drink a coffee at least to have a look.
First surprise before arriving, at Otira Viaduct Lookout we can see Keas! (point 244). They are wild parrots unfortunately in extinction, there are only 5000 left in New Zealand, and we see 5 ! (Attracted by tourists asking for food, do not give them anything to eat ) A tourist next to us wanted to give bread, everyone reprimanded him. is very bad for them.
A good night’s sleep and let’s go the next morning for the Devils Punchbowl Waterfall, a very impressive waterfall that deserves to be seen.
And that’s after we did one of the best treks I’ve ever done in my life and in New Zealand: the Bealey Spur Track.
4 hours of gentle climb and beautiful scenery to arrival at a small blue hut. It looks like it’s the end of the treck … well no! You have to go straight ahead and find the signposts and then climb up the mountain, this time it rises strongly during 1 hour. But at the end … what an incredible view of the surrounding mountains. It was just … .magic, sublime! (I advise you to walk to the maximum that you can go). The descent will be long and our feet will struggle to recover the next day, but we do not regret nothiiiing.
In the early morning, we turn back to the west-coast road! And here we arrived in the city of Hokitika where there is a well known spot of gloworms (point 166) These are glowworms hanging along the rocky walls / trees that produce light and give a rendering close to night star. Unfortunately the spot is touristic.. But don’t panic, there is another one a little further, much less known and where we can look more and take our time! (paragraph 251).
The next day, we leave Hokitia and we visit some pretty nice points: a small mirror lake (point 234) the beautiful lake Mahinapua and a nice 4h treck: Mananui Tramline (point 254).
On the road you will also pass near: The Bushmans Center.
A atypical coffeewhere i recommend a good … coffee: D. After a good digestion, it’s gone for a little treck: Okarito Trig Walk with a beautiful view.
And we arrive at a very popular and tourist point in New Zealand: Franz joseph glacier! On the heights of the mountains, it’s cooler than elsewhere. You can be seen via a small treck of 2 hours, one part of the famous glacier.
Unfortunaly, also a victim of climate change, it lost more than 100X it’s surface and it continues from year to year. I’m prettysure that in less than 4 years, we will not see anything. I confess that it was really sad to see this little glacier like this…
We have some free time and we choose another treck : tatare tunnels walk that we really enjoyed, especially because at the end we discover a long tunnel really nice to explore. Take flashlights and boots before you go if you really want to go inside . (Unfortunately I haven’t explored during a long time, always this phobia of a monster in the dark, yes yes, really …)
Next morning we leave fresh and ready for a small visit of the lake Matheson … without surprises a spot for tourists. We do not stay there very long. At the tourist center in for Fox Glacier we ask for information about treks in the area.
We decided to make the famous copland track that will bring us to natural sources of hot water. After making our bags and provisions for two day. One day to go and another to return. Let’s go for 6 hours of intense walking ….
No it doesn’t climb, but they are rivers to pass, rocks to climb and obstacles without end. The flat terrain is rare and I would believe me in Koh Lanta. Finally, once arrived, it’s a pleasure to relax in these hot springs into the nature, it’s almost luxury! My muscles say thank you.
We come back exhausted but happy and ready for new discoveries.
(And covered with sandflies bites, but is super comon in New Zealand!).Very nice things we see in the days after like the cascades of Roaring Billy Falls and Fantail Falls. Just small treks to get there, so very easy to access.
The highlight of the show before we entered Wanaka: the Blue Pools Walk. A little treck to see turquoise blue blue pools and it’s beautifuuuuul. People bathed there … I never would do it when you taste the glacial temperature of the water coming directly from the glaciers. Brrr …
And it’s finish for this second part of our west coast roadtrip . We will soon arrive in the city of Wanaka and after Queenstown that also deserve an article, to follow so …
Image bandeau et ci dessyus par Loic Naessens et petites images de moi même.
Et voila pour notre petit road trip sur la West-coast 🙂
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