Our Wonderful Wet Coast Holiday - 12th Jan 2013

And did it rain!:

The rain started as we drove up the shore of Lake Wanaka towards the Haast Pass and I said to Julie "well it can't rain for four days". Our West Coast holiday was planned to take us South from Haast to Jackson Bay staying a night at Okuru, then back up the Coast to Hokitika for a three night stay before joining sister and brother-in-law Amanda and Russell in Ruby Bay near Nelson. 

But the rain stopped when it counted:

Well it pretty much did rain for the time we were on the West Coast, it rained for five straight days in fact, but it generously stopped whenever it counted. We had a break in the weather briefly at Jackson Bay, intermittently up the coast, at Fox long enough to take the short bush walk to the viewing point for the glacier, long enough to do the amazing Treetop walk near Hokitika, and the Pancake rocks at Punakaiki, and to cross the longest swing bridge over the Buller River in the Buller Gorge.

We were treated to the  true nature of the Coast: 

But the important thing to learn by the experience, was the grandeur of the area because of the reputation it has for wet weather. The rivers were spectacularly in flood, the waterfalls we saw everywhere were raging torrents, and the mountains were cloaked in cloud and mist showing the brooding mountain landscape peering out from behind the clouds.  Even the coastline showed it's wild side with waves crashing over the rocky shore flinging spray high into the air. At Punakaiki we experienced for the first time the booming blowholes in full performance mode. Yes the West Coast was wet, but experiencing that wildness was a privilege in itself.

Taking the rough with the smooth:

Yes it was annoying to leap from the car to have a host of sandflies converge on us and the vehicle, yes it was annoying to get soaked at times, and yes it was annoying to have drips over the camera lens. But the sandfly bites have gone now, we were soon warm and dry again in the car or motel, and some of the great photographs I did get represent the true nature of the region.

Compliments of the Season to you all:

I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year and we can all look forward to 2013 with new vigour and enthusiasm after the holiday break.

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