Part 2: The West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand is often called the Wild West. It is remote, untamed, at times rough, and always wild. The basic premise of this pair of posts is “One Hour from Greymouth.”
First, a few basic reminders for traveling on the West Coast.
- Always fill your gas tank every chance you have. Gas stations are few and far between.
- Always have some food or snacks in your car. Seriously.
- Plan for any weather…you may have it all in a single day trip.
- And always give yourself plenty of time…the West Coast roads are narrow, curvy, and take much more time than you might expect. Take your time and enjoy the natural beauty.
To the South:
Going south from Greymouth, the most “popular” destinations are Hokitika and further to the south, Okarito (think white herons), Franz Joseph and Fox glaciers. Don’t skip those, but here are a few diversions near Greymouth that are worth your time.
See the photo below? Dan is walking funny because that grey stuff is wet and slick as snot. The info about Blue Spur suggests good shoes…take that advice! Good shoes are everything.
Deep within the woods, the trail goes here: incredible!
Another worthwhile diversion about an hour or less south of Greymouth is Lake Mahinapua. When you see the entrance from Highway 6, you are in open land with few trees. The instant after you turn, the bush becomes a dark lush tunnel. A short drive in leads you to a gorgeous reflective lake with mountain views and a multitude of birds–loud birds.
Lake Mahinapua has nice treks around the lake, camping, and the signs say there is sailing there in the spring and summer. For a short detour off of Highway 6, it has a lot to offer–5 minutes, 5 hours, or even 5 days.
Mananui Bush Walk
Directly across from Lake Mahinapua is a road to the Mananui Bush Walk, which leads to the beach just south of the river by Hokitika. Although a fairly common path to a west coast beach, it is a nice little diversion…and leads to some interesting rocks. Yes, I am rock obsessed!
My “within an hour of Greymouth” series is going to have to be continued. I have barely scratched the surface. But until then, start making your plans!