Driftwood sculpture at Hokitika
Today we headed north from the Glacier region but not until we had one more foray into the wonderful rainforest. Here it is called the 'Bush' but that doesn't do it justice.
We retraced our tracks south to Fox and then headed of the main road to Lake Matheson. Here we had a 1.5 hour walk around the lake with viewing points to see the reflections of the Southern Alps at strategic points. The lake was a little too ruffled and the clouds a little too low for this but the walk through the surrounding rainforest was superb. A feast for all the senses.
Near to the car park the first thing we noticed was the cacophony of sound in the tree canopy from insects, but as we moved further into the forest the sound disappeared altogether so that only the occasional bird song could be heard. Soon Chris spotted a Fantail, the second we have seen as we caught sight of one yesterday on a similar walk to the Franz Josef Glacier yesterday. A second sighting afforded me a recognisable photograph and a little later we saw our first Sliver Eye.
The ferns, as ever, were magnificent as well as the other flora of this area so we thoroughly enjoyed our walk and were greeted at the end by Mt. Cook peeping through the cloud.
A coffee and a few purchases in the wonderful Reflections cafe and gallery and then we headed north on coastal road. Blue skies and sea to our left and dark clouds and mountains to the right. Such is the West coast of South Island.
Our overnight stay is in Hokitika, a centre for art and greenstone (jade) jewellery. It has masses of driftwood on the beach brought in by the rolling waves of the Tasman Sea. Here they have been very creative with it as my friend Yorkshirebred told me before we came.
The most well known one is the town's name but I loved this fisherman against the sparkling sea.
Tomorrow we head back to Christchurch, then Marlborough and Motueka for the Abel Tasman National Park. Any blippers who would like to meet Blipbear in those areas please get in touch.