Archive for July, 2012
A big welcome to guest blogger, Jan MacDonald! Jan and her husband Stephen, live on the Punakaiki coastline, north of Greymouth on the West Coast, NZ and run Breakers Boutique Accommodation. They both enjoy the outdoors and are passionate about things to see and do on the West Coast and here’s a recent experience they had in their part of New Zealand:
Sitting on top of the world, watching the time roll away, sitting on top of the world, wasting tii -iii, iii, iiimmme..I left my home in Greymouth and travelled out the Coastal road. Parked up at the 10 mile and hiked up to the top of Mount George ooohhh, sitting on the top of the world…….
Ok, so you have to be with me on the tune here, and yes I’ve changed the words but thanks to Otis Reading and his “sitting on the Dock of the Bay” for the melody cos with these views that was all that was going through my head!
This is a fantastic hike – must be described as a hike as it is true blue back-country tramping. Not a long hike but a good climb up the mountain, through NZ native bush with some fantastic examples of our wonderful flora and fauna. There was a beautiful NZ Falcon souring above us at the top and a couple of cute little fantail following us on the way back down.
The trail starts out straight into climbing up through the dense native bush before popping out on a ridgeline covered in Keikei, manuka and young beech trees (still climbing!!!). Another section in the native bush (and yes, it is up, up, up) before we have to clamber our way up a crag to reach the rock face and gain the rewards of the top. There is a trig at the top so we know we’ve made it – that and you can only go down again from here!
The views though – WOW! 360 degree – out to the Tasman (we could see at least three fishing boats), all up and down the coast, our house!, out the back to Runanga and you can just make out the outskirts of Greymouth, the towering peaks of the Southern Alps off in the background including fabulous views of Mt Cook and Mt Tasman – did I mention WOW!
Have to admit, it was a grunt to get up here – certainly got the blood pumping and the heart rate up. I felt muscles in places I didn’t know I had muscles! Worth it though. Surprisingly – given the elevation we were climbing, it didn’t actually take that long. All in all, we were only away for a couple of hours – including our snack stop at the top.
What goes up, must come down…….
After some careful foot placement we eventually make it back down to the bottom. Very cool looking back from the car up to where we were – wow, we just climbed that. Fantastic!
Sitting on top of the world, watching the time roll away, sitting on top of the world………
One of my favourite places for unspoilt beauty and local flavour is the area known as Glenorchy, a 45 min drive from Queenstown – an absolute pearl. On a recent visit we stopped for a coffee. “Try the Glenorchy Hotel” we were told. Not this time we thought. Instead, we followed the locals to this very cute Cafe – good coffee and a great choice of alfresco seating areas.
Afterwards we strolled around sniffing the air and exploring and came across this rustic little store, a great place to buy possum fur products of every description and (I think) at very reasonable prices. Inside there were some very excited Asian ladies having a great time trying on possum fur hats then running across the road to show their bemused husbands. They FINALLY came back still wearing the hats and ready to pay for their purchases – bless em.
By the way, Glenorchy is the gateway to a number of serious walking tracks, including the Routeburn. Here’s a few more scenic shots from the Dart River:
Many people have heard of Blanket Bay, a high-end American style Lodge, near Glenorchy, but sometimes little fish are sweeter. Precipice Creek Station B & B is set in a stunning location 4kms pass Glenorchy. This accommodation is a private ‘couples’ place and is owned Vladka, originally from the Czech Republic and Richard, a born-and-bred Kiwi.
Here’s Michael yakking it up with Vladka while I snap a few shots of the friendly locals.
The B&B unit is fully separated from the main house, spacious, light and with a sunny deck for viewing the Humboldt mountain range. I loved Vladka’s little touches – presentation is everything here and her thoughfully placed artwork make a styly statement. Loved the gorgeous possum throw on the bed.
Glenorchy is a restful place but if you want outdoor activities, there’s an abundance of it from fly-fishing, jetboating, horse-riding and scenic safari road tours, greenstone and of course very special places to stay.