Saturday, Jan 30, 2016
After a good night’s rest in warm, dry conditions, we left Westport for the Tasman area in the Northwest area of the south island.
Similar to the previous day, several sections of the roads wound around the mountain sides in a snakelike, pattern with several hairpin turns around blind corners. It would have been desirable conditions for travel on a motorcycle but not in a camper van. I’m sure that all of the motorcyclists travelling to the Bike Rally in Hokitika, enjoyed navigating the turns.
On our way, we stopped at Bullers Gorge and traversed the swing bridge to some hiking areas. The bridge swung more than any swing bridge I have ever been on and it was very narrow, barely enough room for one person.
There is a zip line that can be taken from the opposite end of the bridge back to the entrance. The river is quite full at this location and they offer jet boat rides for a fee.
We hiked the trails and took numerous pictures as we went.
I ventured on a less travelled route, in fact I was the only one no this route through the forest which led to a small falls with some rapids.
I was surprised to find a baby eel in a pool which had formed on a large rock. I was able to take a picture of him but it is hard to distinguish him because of the water reflection. Hopefully you can spot him near the middle of the picture.
We left the Gorge and drove to Murchison, where we had a quick lunch at a Cafe, topped off with a little ice cream, before continuing our drive.
Along the way we saw these hanging vines but we couldn’t tell what they are. Anyone have an idea?
I was starting to count sheep when I came upon this sign on the road and just had to share it.
The landscape had slowly changed from a rainforest to a forest of evergreen and deciduous trees that covered the sides of the mountains which bordered the many farms in the valleys. We stopped at a couple of lookout points on the top of some mountains which gave us great views of the mountainous landscapes with the many valleys that are typical in this region.
We stopped in Motueka to book a day of kayaking and hiking but the i-site was closed so we called the company directly. We discussed our options and decided to continue to Takaka where we reserved a campsite before getting a pizza for supper.