Spring Snow

South Island: Kaiteriteri to Karamea

After packing and tidying up the accommodation in Kaiteriteri we started the journey to Karamea. Trusting the sat nav we made easy progress south before turning more westerly passing through Murchison and the Buller Gorge as we continued towards Westport on the coast. We stopped at a hilltop rest area to try and get some views of the surrounding mountains, in almost every direction it was forest rising to mountain tops covered in snow.

Spring SnowPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Looking to the Mountains and forest.

At Westport we did some shopping for supplies and got some petrol. Once we got to the coast there was a definite sense that the landscape was harsher than the more easterly places we had been so far. The beaches were windswept and looked wild, even with a border of farmland.

West Coast BeachPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Wild beaches north of Westport.

We took a short walk to break up the travelling to Karamea, deciding to walk the short Chasm Creek walkway found just before the town of Seddonville. The DOC info states “This level walkway meets the Seddonville Road at both ends. It follows along an old railway formation featuring a tunnel with glow-worms, a bridge, views of the Mokihinui River and Mt Glasgow, and a glimpse into mysterious Chasm Creek.” and that sums up most of what we saw (well, I don’t recall glow-worms or any particular mountain views). In addition we saw some interesting plants, some nesting shags, some cliffs covered in moss and ferns thriving in the water that streamed down the rock and a fantail nest.

Pygmy SundewPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Patterns on the waterPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Patterns in the stream.

Chasm Creek Walkway tunnelPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Coming out of the tunnel.

Moss and fernsPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Moss and ferns.

The DOC website provided the information for most if not all the walks we did on the South Island trip. The walks around Westport and Karamea can mostly be found in one PDF file here: Walks in the Westport and lower Buller area. One thing we did find that the walks took us much longer than the advertised times, a 15 minute walk turning into an hour by the time photos were taken, plants and animals were viewed and features investigated. We weren’t so interested in walking from A to B, we wanted to experience the locations.

Our accommodation at Karamea was the Karamea Farm Baches. For some reason they thought we would be arriving a day earlier than we did but as the place was empty this didn’t cause any issues. As the name suggests the place consists of a number of small batches next to farmland at one quiet end of Karamea, ours was roomy enough even if the decor was in need of pulling into the 21st century. With the light failing outside we stayed in for the evening, cooking and eating in the bach.

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