Thursday, July 5, 2012

South Island - part 2

Now, if you've never been to New Zealand, you should know that the most recommended and toured part of it is the west coast of the South Island. Well at least I would think so. And if you ever come this way, I warmly recommend you do the same. It's a beautiful piece of coastline with some amazing scenery. The south island is the least populated of the two islands, and a lot of it retains its untouched wilderness aspect (although don't look too close or you might stumble on a mine... yes, New Zealand is opening up national parks for mining, what a shame).
 Since my mum hand't seen much of the west coast we decided to go through at least part of it. We took the road inland that goes through Reefton, and old mining town and the first to have street lights in the whole Southern hemisphere. That's what mining will do for you. Now they still have street lighting but the town seems to have come to a halt... I guess it was good while it lasted.
Gold no more
Reefton's one and only motor camp. 
We then hit the west past and headed for Punakaiki. I'd forgotten how stunning this part of the South Island was. What a drive. We stayed at a nice campground right by the beach, played in the waves and watched the sunset. Magic.
The next day we headed south, through Greymouth, visited Shanty town (another ex-mining town that has turned into a make believe tourist attraction. I had hoped we could make it all the way down to Queenstown, but that would have way too much driving, the kids would have gone mad.
So we ended up heading back to Christchurch through Arthur's Pass. and that will be in the third and last post about this trip...

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