Via Hanmer Springs to the West Coast

Before leaving Christchurch (and forgetting our iPhone charger at the backpacker) we had a quick look at Lyttelton where the port of Christchurch is situated. Once again we encountered a lot of evidence of the earthquakes ranging from half-collapsed houses to semi-rebuild parks. The port itself was rather small but had a lot of timber ready to be shipped to the world.

Afterwards we were north-bound toward Waipara and again we just loved the scenery with its green fields, trenches and heaps of sheep. Waipara is one of the youngest wine regions in NZ and therefore we almost felt obligated to have a quick tasting at two wineries. The region is mainly producing Riesling, Gewurztraminer and a bit of Pinot Noir.

Soon after the last winery we made a left turn into the valleys of the New Zealand Alps. The next ninety minutes drive to Hanmer Springs offered once again an astonishing scenery. It was just fantastic .

The mountain town of Hanmer Springs is mainly known for its hot springs and so after checking-in into the small and cozy Hanmer Backpacker we went straight to the hot springs. And so we relaxed for the next three hours in 38 to 42 degree hot pools of water.

Well relaxed we started the next day with a short but relatively steep hike up to the local hill which offered a nice 360 degree view of the valley and surrounding mountains.

Afterwards we continued our journey westwards towards Greymouth through the fantastic New Zealand Alps. A short stop near Lewis Pass offered post card like photo opportunities. Near Greymouth which is the biggest town on the West Coast the weather started to turn rainy once again and so we decided to head straight to the Neptune Backpacker for a good rest. Despite the bad weather we saw some courageous guys tenting outside the backpacker. In addition one guy’s tent consisted more or less of a light rain over-tent with no proper side walls and some cardboard as mattress… respect for this fellow we would say.

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