The weather improved markedly as we travelled further up the west coast from Greymouth on Monday morning. I have now been to Greymouth five, or six times, and I have never been there while the sun has been shining – Grey by name, and also by nature!
We stopped for a look at the pancake rocks at Punakaiki National Park and then drove further up the coast, almost to Westport. The scenery along the coast north of Punakaiki is quite spectacular and would easily rival the Great Ocean Road along the Victorian Coast.
At the road junction of Highway 7, we turned right to follow the river upstream and eventually to Hanmer Junction. There are many scenic places along the river, including a very narrow stretch of one way road called Hawks Crag. Here, the road has been cut in, and under, a cliff so that it is below a curved overhang.
It was rather warm when we reached Hanmer Springs. This little town has developed enormously from the time of our first visit. It is no longer a backwater town with some hot springs. It is now a resort town with modern luxury accommodation, nice restaurants and good facilities.
On Tuesday, we drove down to Christchurch, again in heavy pouring rain caused by the tail end of a cyclone to the north of the country. This rain was responsible for some serious flooding on the west coast and a land slide had closed the road on which we ha travelled yesterday. It was quite a relief to reach our hotel for the night and to get ot of this weather. However, we really have been lucky – only two wet days out of ten in an area that is noted for It’s wet weather.
This ends another very enjoyable trip and one which we would be really happy to repeat sometime in the future.