New Zealand – West Coast, South Island

Finally, after two days of rain and an increasing frustration level it cleared up on our way to the Hokitika Gorge and we could enjoy some time hiking in the forest.

Hokitika Gorge

Unfortunately, due to the rain during last days, the gorge was lacking the fantastic blue water that we saw on other pictures, but still a nice being here and able to enjoy the sunshine. 

And it seems we were not the only ones being happy about the changing weather.

Pancake Rocks

From the gorge we followed basically the West Coast of New Zealand’s South island towards the North, having a short stop at the Pancake Rocks. Looks again like a totally different island, just a couple of kilometres North. Palm trees are growing here and it feels a bit like Hawaii or so, but still New Zealand.

Tauranga Beach

As we were not yet lucky with seals, we decided to have a stop at Tauranga Beach. Should be the easiest accessible seal colony in New Zealand. Well, yes and no, on one hand it is easy to get there, but the distances are rather large and the view is more from above, so not perfect for pictures. However we got there and there were seals, so here you go… 🙂

Oparara Bassin

Last stop for us at the West Coast was the Oparara Bassin with the big arches. Even though you can see signs of rock fall and erosion is at constant work, you can move around here freely and explore the area. First arch we visited was Moria Gate, and honestly to us the most impressive one.

The Oparara Arch is much bigger and higher, so it is even harder to catch the dimensions on a picture (even in reality it is somehow hard to realise the size of it).

But also beside the arches the area is beautiful and worth the visit.

And as a small disclaimer: Keep in mind when going there, it is not possible by a campervan. Well, there are a lot of signs telling you it is not suitable by Campervan and they are right. Hence we did it, we would advice to follow the signs and not do it! The road is extremely narrow and it did only work out for us due to the low-season (we had no upcoming traffic). So be careful out there and rather book a local driver to give you a lift up there, even though it might cost some dollars. 

With that said, lets move on towards Able Tasman, so stay with us if you want to see more.