We’re now four nights into camping along the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. There has been so much to take in…
There was first a night in Karamea (which is a small coastal community just on the edge of Kahurangi National Park). It was here that we did a hike along the river and found the impressive limestone Oparara Arch. It was quite a dense forest, and we really lucked out not having many of those pesky sand flies biting us.
We drove South toward Franz Joseph glacier the next day, and on the way stopped to see the coastal views and a colony of seal that were looking after their small pups. Many of the seal were out fishing but we did manage to see a few little ones get rocked about by a big wave.
There are all kinds of penguin homes along the drive. If you do get the chance to take this stretch of highway during your trip we both highly recommend it.
At Franz Joseph glacier, we set up our tent and enjoyed an early night in. We were just inside our (thankfully very waterproof tent) when the mother of all thunderstorms rolled in for 6 hours. I hardly slept, as the lightning startled me away every time it went off! Mike was snoring through it at one point, which I thought was a pretty good result.
The next morning, just as we officially rose from bed, the weather cleared and we did the 1.5 hour hike to view the rapidly depleting glacier. Over 10 years it has melted at a rate of 800 meters. Mike was here nearly 6 years ago and marvelled at how far it had receded.
We’re currently in the Otago region and will be headed even further South over the next few days.
Have you been to the West Coast of New Zealand? Were there any places you saw that you’d recommend?
Have you ever been camping while pregnant? I have had my moments… and am finding I’m puffed out more often than not!