Ainslie's Travel Adventures

Ainslie Waldron

Veteran Home Exchanger | Travel Author | [hidden email]

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Mar 4th

West Coast of New Zealand South Island

I just visited New Zealand.  This time the bulk of my visit was to the west coast of the South Island.  It certainly is an enchanting place. Unfortunately I arrived during a cyclone which meant leaving the 30 degree warmth of Macleay Island to a much chiller single figure temperature. It was a bit of a shock to the system.  However it soon warmed up to temperatures in the early twenties.

It was exciting driving west from the city of Christchurch on the east coast, which is slowly but surely recovering from the devastating earthquakes of a few years ago. We drove through Arthurs Pass stopping en-route to visit the amazing Otira Stagecoach hotel www.  I highly recommend that you stop there if you ever drive this road.  It is full of amazing old fashioned bric a brac.  The staff there are very friendly and welcoming too.

Continuing our journey we stopped to take in breath taking views of the NZ Alps and watched the cheeky large local Alpine parrots (Kea) trying to destroy parked cars.  I found another road sign to add to my world-wide collection too.

We enjoyed sumptuous fine dining in an outside twilight setting at the Stations Inn on the Blue Spur Road near Hokitika and Greymouth.  Llamas ate in the nearby field as we dined.

On the return trip we lunched at the amazing Cowboy Paraise motel  with views to die for and an abundance of cowboy wild west features.  Another place definitely to put on the bucket list.

All too soon it was time to return to Oz.  Back to relaxation and temperatures in the 30s.


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