Heaading to the West Coast of the South Island, New Zealand

With not much of a clear goal in mind, we headed towards the West Coast. We couldn’t take the “short” route either.  The GPS told us to take a particular road that happens to be on our NO GO list provided by Maui.  We really wanted to take it too.  We actually met several people who drove on it VERY SLOWLY and said it was spectacular and one of the most insane roads they had ever driven.  (maybe it was a good thing to avoid in our giant moving house).  Even with the “Safer” route, we were not left disappointed by the drive.

Hairpin turns, switchbacks, cliffs, one lane bridges and rocky overhangs were a regular occurrence with the occasional reprieve of valleys and flats.

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It’s a Bug…

Easy Driving.

 

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When they say go 15km/h they mean 15!

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Netting to hold back the rocks from falling on you.

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You can’t even see the road around the corner.

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Keeping Roland entertained on these drives can be difficult at times.  I find myself singing, a lot.  It usually involves silly things, what we see and what we are doing.  He loves it and frequently sings his own songs.  Much to Dan’s annoyance I frequently sing “The Bear Song” by Green Gelly. (As I write this I am finally listening to the song on my comuter, love it. Look it up!)

 

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This is a river.  Can you imagine it full?!?!

This one lane bridge is so large it has two “Passing” sections where you can sit and wait for a car to pass you.  We’re still not sure on the actual etiquette on this so we just waited until the whole bridge was clear.  We might also be too large for such a passing place too.

 

 

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We can now see OCEAN!

 

 

We decided to grab some lunch at a random spot along the way.  Turns out the Makarora Country Cafe was a wonderful and special place.

Cozy Fireplace, kids toys, room to crawl around.

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This is NOT the fireplace being used today!

 

 

Good food, Flags, antiques all over the place. License plates from all over the world, even Canada and the US.  This money tree.

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It was the atmosphere that made it more like visiting your family cottage more than a random stop on the road.

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We are so glad we stopped by!

Out on the ocean, we drove by spectacular sights.  There is a little place you can pull off and some great beach access.

There is also a lot of smooth white rocks.

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People have gone and written all sorts of messages and added them to a pile right on the beach.  There were half a dozen piles.

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We got as far as Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier as it started to get dark and called it for a night.  We liked the idea of viewing a glacier and that it just what we will do tomorrow.

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Rainforest Retreat

The Rainforest Retreat has a variety of accommodations and even has a full-service restaurant!  The staff at Monsoons were fantastic!  The camping spots are set in the back of the park and surrounded by lush rainforest.  Just perfect.

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Maui in the forest.

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lol, not our camper.

 

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