New Zealand: West Coast

Michael and I traveled to New Zealand as part of our 2007 career break. The following is an excerpt from our travel blog.

For our last two full days in New Zealand we decided to take our time driving back to Christchurch, taking in our last views of the gorgeous landscape.  From Nelson we drove inland to reach the West Coast, stopping in Buller Gorge to traverse New Zealand’s longest swing bridge.

Our first stop on the coast was Westport and Cape Fowlwind, where we watched the local seals frolick about.  From here it was short drive to our stopping point – Punakaiki, famous for their Pancake Rocks and blowholes.  We had one of those sunny days for the first part of our drive, so it was no wonder we woke up to grey.  But it’s amazing how the weather and lighting can really change the mood of the place.  And even though it was way past high tide, the blowholes were really kicking it up at Punakaiki.

[singlepic=436,200,,,right]As we made our way down before turning inland to cross over Arthur’s Pass back to Christchurch, I hoped what I read in my guidebook was true, that if it’s cloudy on one side of the pass chances were it would be sunny on the other.  I didn’t want us to miss out on the spectacular views of the Southern Alps.  And as soon as we began our ascent from the pastures and plains, the clouds did give way to clear skies and snow-capped peaks.

Every turn brought an even more beautiful view and as I turned back for one last glimpse of the mountains before descending back into the clouds, I thought how this was a perfect way to end out tine in New Zealand.

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