21st September 2012
Late Departure Day! Woo woo! But nope, I’m not one to sleep in despite missing my alarm clock yesterday (naughty boy) but I’m ready to rock and roll for my activity today in the Abel Tasman Park in which we were staying at its doorstep in Kaiteriteri. Feeling so refreshed after a good sleep in which we weren’t OTP (kiwi slang for ‘on the piss’), I took a guided tour on a jet boat taxi past the unmistakeable Spilt Apple Rock (check out the pic). Some people mistook it for a naughty private part much to everyone’s guilty laughter. Donning our life jackets, I sat a the back and felt the spray of New Zealand’s clear blue rich Tasman Water and tried to spot dolphins and seals (which we did!).
After a good 45 minutes, we reached into the heart of Abel Tasman National Park at Anchorage, an absolute smashing place, and we marvelled at the scenery in this gorgeous weather. How blessed am I with this after the rains of Australia?! It was so hot as well!
Taking a bush walk, we reached Te Pukatea Bay, possibly one of the best beaches I’ve seen. This hidden beach is enough to make Australian beaches turn green with envy. It was so beautiful that I was literally gob smacked. Check out the pics.
With another thrilling jet boat ride back to Kaiteriteri, we boarded back on the bus to head down the wild west coast to our next final destination of Westport. It was going to be a very long drive, but I didn’t care. It was to be a whole new world through the window to stare at the majestic beauty of South Island.
Departing Kaiteriteri, we winded our way down the amazing Buller Gorge alongside Buller River, that rises from Lake Rototi flowing into the Tasman Sea at Westport. This longest scenic drive alongside the river, Maori’s name is kawatiri (means deep and swift), you could easily believe that this river has the greatest flood discharge of all of New Zealand’s rivers. I tried to take pictures but none of them did it any justice. You have to go and see it with your own eyes bro!
Arriving in Westport, we were treated to a few facts from our informative driver who kept a very very interesting commentary throughout the drive, it has a mild climate boasting 2000 hours of sunshine. So that must have been a great incentive for first settlers who were lured here with the promise of gold and also black gold – coal. You can see upon entry that this place is a mining town with coal plants scattered around. But have no fear, this place is so environmentally friendly that 86% of the land in Westport area is under management of Department of Conservation.
Jumping off the bus into our hostel and boosting our food supplies, it surely had been a long day for all of us so we went to chinwag with the locals in the area who were extremely happy to see us. It’s a quiet town so any custom in their establishments they are extremely grateful for. In the pub later, the great local rugby team walked in. Everyone went quiet. All the girls on our bus, their eyes either glazed over or gleamed with seeing professional sport players and went to flirt their asses off! A while later, while laughing as they returned disappointed, I went to chat to a couple of them about the beautiful game and they definitely heard of Hull FC, my local rugby league team but were clueless who Hull Rovers were. Haha, take that Hull Rovers! (for those who don’t know, Hull Rovers are Hull FC’s sworn enemies). Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me to take a photo with them. Damn! But they were a great laugh and kept challenging me to drinking games of some which I dutifully complied with but for the hardcore stuff, I passed up!
A great night indeed!
Now, time for bed for another day with Kiwi Experience. It was proving to be a great journey indeed!