The two coasts are really different from each other because of their climate and therefore their vegetation. The west-coast will be more exotic and green while the east coast is more dry and stony. Honestly … I would not say which one I prefer. I had favorites points for both for several spots. But maybe I have a little preference, but really a liiiiiiittle for East Coast.
Loic and I start this little tour of the south after the famous caitlins we really loved. The wait is always very high and we want to take full eyes! So, will that be the case?
Well, let’s go to find out …
We start with the trek waipohatu falls (point 317), 2 hours walk in the forest to discover a beautiful fall. After, you can then attack the Koropuku Falls (point 325), a very small trek to get to a nice waterfall as well. We went on a rainy day and the “waterfall” was decome a famous torrent! And so pretty impressive to see.
After a good look at the schedule, we arrive at Cave Cathedral (point 326). These are huge caves at the edge of the sea that can be visited at low tide. Be careful, the doors are closed at high tide. We were there just in time to visit them, phew! (To know the schedules, look here ). It’s really beautiful to see, do not miss out, really.
On the road is also the Purakaunui Falls Walk (point 52), a small walk to see falls quite wide but not very high. It changes a little bit.
We now come to : “THE SPOT” of the East coast: the nugget point (point 36). Well known for the famous pictures of the lighthouse and its small rocks that look like nuggets. We went in the morning to see the sunrise … an unforgettable moment. I highly recommend you do it with your little coffee thermos.
You will pass by a small seal colony which has settled in Kaka point. Take a look there.
Then we arrive near Dunedin (pronounced here: D’n’dn … impossible to understand: D), One of the big cities in the South Island that I find quite pretty, especially compared to the last we visited, which was really ugly : Invercargill. This city is well known because it’s home to the steepest street in the world: Baldwin Street. And I admit that it’s impressive to see ! The cars go up another street and only go down that one, it’s so steep. We managed to climb to the top anyway, there is even a staircase instead of sidewalk for all to say.
Before taking the road we decided for a small improvised trek that seems forgotten by all: Nichols falls track (point 320). Really very nice to do in the forest, about 30 minutes to reach the waterfall.
A little visit to the beach? Go through the small tunnel that goes down to the beach at point 18. Pretty atypical.
Then come the equally famous: Moeraki boulders (point 16). These are big round stones that have been shaped in thousands of years. They are totally round and sunken in the sand. There are not many but it remains very mysterious. (By cons the place is very touristy, come sooner or later, if you want to avoid the Asian buses that abound on tourist sites).
And always going up towards Blenheim, we go first by the city of Keikoura and its seals which like to lounging a few steps of tourists and even a few times squarely on the carpark! It is obviously necessary to keep the distances necessary for the well-being of the animal. (And also a question of logic).
And that’s for this small road east-coast that could roughly boil down to many beautiful lighthouses encountered during the road, which really gave a little more charm. I really think you have to do both on your trip if you stay there long enough.
With small similarities of Brittany in France, we took fresh air and sea salt.
There is actually less to see than on the West-coast, but it’s still very interesting and also very exotic because we see another scene than what we have already seen on the island.
So do not hesitate 🙂
Picture from Loic.naes
And that’s it for my road trip 🙂
Did it help you? Have you seen other spots?
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