HEAPHY TRACK, Wanaka, etc.

31.January 2015 - Takaka

The last few days I have been travelling along the West Coast and then met up with Dyeborah to do the Heaphy Track. From Christchurch I left with the TransAlpine-Train through Arthurs Pass over to Greymouth. The Journey was amazing, you had such nice views of the Soutthern Alps and a lot of commentary about the landscape and it's history. I stopped in Arthurs Pass for two nights. On the first day I have done some short tracks around (pictures on previous post) and the second it rained the entire day. In Greymouth there was not much to do, I went greenstone hunting (succesfully I think!) and to Shantytown, which is like a build-up goldminers village, but it wasn't really worth going. Next I travelled to Franz Josef Glacier, where me and my roommate went to a Kiwi Wildlife Center, we saw small chicks and some Kiwis in a dark room, quite nice! My hostel was very cool too, you got free soup and bread for dinner, so for once you did'nt have to cook. I saw the glacier from far away, because I was gonna come back. I was on my way to Wanaka, which was really awesome. Mainly because of the people in the hostel, we had such a good time, even though I only stayed for two nights, it felt like a little holiday. We went into a cinema, where you sat on sofas and had a break to eat freshly made cookies, delicious! Next day we lay on the beach at the lake half the day, did stand-up-paddle-boarding and I went to Puzzle World, which is a place full of optical illusions and a big maze which took half an hour to an hour. I got a ride back to Franz Josef and we had a walk to the glacier, which was a bit disappointing because you couldn't get right to it because of falling rocks and ice. I then travelled up to Punakaiki, where the pancake rocks are. We had a little look around and then sat at the beach, the west coast is just beautiful. It's funny how you always meet people unexpectedly who you know already. From there on we travelled (me and Deborah) to Westport, where we chilled and got ready to do Heaphy Track. It's the longest of New Zealands 9 Great Walks (82km) and we did it in 4 days. It was really amazing to see the landcape change every few hours. From the untouched beach to rain forest to grass to mountains. It was nice to camp along the track but the animals got quite annoying. First day we got eaten alive by sandflies and wekas constantly tried to steal our food. Then there were bees and more sandflies. Additionally we climbed up Mount Perry and had an amazing view of all the track and saw from west coast to Farewell Spit (most northern point of south island). We are now in Takaka in Golden Bay and hope to explore it tomorrow although it is gonna rain. In a few days I am hopefully going to take the ferry to the North Island, feels like travelling somewhere else, even though it's still the same country. I am sad to leave New Zealand so soon but I am also happy to be home/in England for easter and see everyone again! :)