West Coast Wilderness

The west coast of New Zealand is very remote. The main road that we used across the Haast Pass was only .completed in 1950.there are very few towns and there are long distances between settlements.

We began by driving along the same route taken by the Wanaka Challenge bike race. We drive carefully to avoid hundreds of cyclists, officials and on-coming cars. After about ten kilometers, we separated wino the cyclists turning right to travel along the southern shore of Lake Hawea, while we travelled along the eastern side of the lake and up over the pass to the northern end of Lake Wanaka. We had some very attractive scenery along the lake.

After leaving he lake, we followed the Makarora River towards the Haast Pass. We stopped at a number of places for short walks that took us to waterfalls and these blue pools.

After crossing the Pass, the road descended steeply down through the Haast River valley until it became a broad meandering and braided river near its mouth at Haast Beach. We stopped at the tiny town of Haast for lunch and then headed northwards up the coast to the village of Fox Glacier. We have been blessed with beautiful sunny weather and we had some great scenery through the very heavy rainforest country in this area. We made our last stop for the day at Fox Glacier.

It’s jusas well we saw one of he glaciers as this morning (Sunday) it rained heavily. This was a lousy day for photography and we couldn’t see anything of the other glacier at Franz Joseph – just this very swollen and foggy river.

Although the weather improved as we reached Greymouth, our destination for the night, we had to be content with a rainy day and close by scenery.