No matter where we went on NZ’s west coast we were followed by rain. In total, we spent approximately twelve days under grey skies without a single glimpse of the sun. While this is sure to dampen anyone’s WOLOtude (no pun intended) we made sure that didn’t happen!
In the spirit of WOLO and seeing as much of NZ as possible, we opted to drive to the “end of the road” on the west coast. After we passed the quaint and quiet town of Karamea (kara-mea) we arrived at a gorgeous DOC beach campground and the trailhead of the renowned Heaphy Track (one of NZ’s nine Great Walks). Unfortunately, grey skies, swarming black flies, and rain kept us confined to our van and prevented a safe day walk on the Heaphy Track.
The following morning, however, we pulled out the rain coats and drove to the Oparara (Opah-rarra) Basin.The Oparara Basin touts some of NZ’s most unique natural wonders including the Oparara Arch (NZ’s largest limestone arch) and the Moria Gate Arch. We spent the morning exploring these amazing sites and marvelling over the brilliant green moss situated alongside root beer colored streams before taking the long gravel road back to Westport.
Arriving in Westport under torrential conditions we decided that the West Coast Brewery tour was a must-do. The small, local brewery is one of the few micro-breweries that exist in NZ and we happened to catch the brew masters on a “slow day”. After a handful of samples, a tour, and a long chat we reemerged onto the rainy streets of Westport with a new “favorite” drink of choice: black lager. Yum! We spent the rest of the rainy evening WOLOing with a local kiwi and a transplant American, who graciously invited us over for a spaghetti dinner (we contributed the fresh garlic bread), drinks, and a night on the town with the locals!
Next stop: Golden Bay and the Farewell Spit
Song lyrics: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros “I Don’t Wanna Pray”
– Go. Change your state of mind.