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Day 16 and 17 - Kaiteriteri to Staveley

NEW ZEALAND | Sunday, 14 November 2010 | Views [512] | Comments [2]

On the beach at Little Kaiteriteri

On the beach at Little Kaiteriteri

We left Kaiteriteri in the Abel Tasman National park (on the northwest coast of the South Island) and headed east back to the Pacific coast.  On the way, we drove through a couple of river valleys that must have thousands of acres of huge vineyards—much more than Napa has under cultivation.  I don’t know what the Gallo boys are growing in other parts of California, but I suspect this may look like some of their operations.  We then drove south along the coast past some stunning beaches and ocean vistas.  The further we get away from the big towns, the sparser the people.  There are very few houses outside the towns, and we can drive for miles and miles on a major highway without seeing another car in either direction.  The coast is pretty rocky, and sandy beaches are few and far between.  We stopped and watched a seal colony playing around the rocks for a while.  We also got our first view of major snow-capped mountains, right from the coastal highway!  We overnighted in Kaikoura, on a B&B high above town on a cliff, with views down into the bay, or, looking up, views to snowy mountains.  The Green Dolphin restaurant came highly recommended from several sources, but we were again disappointed with some pretty mediocre (and expensive) food.  We were also disappointed the next morning to find that our whale watching cruise had been cancelled.  This particular boat ride guaranteed sighting of sperm whales, who live permanently off the Kaikoura coast.  The weather was too rough, and even if we had gone, we would have all been sick, according to the guide service.  So we got in the car and meandered on to our next overnight.  On the way, we stopped to walk in a national park area that claimed weird magnetic and gravity-defying phenomena.  We were quite skeptical, but since it was a nice walk to a waterfall anyway, we went.  We were quite unprepared for what we saw (see pix) and we are still trying to figure out what happened.  Our driving route then took us inland, toward an intensely farmed area, to a small town called Staveley.  The landlady’s best friend’s daughter had just died in an accident in Australia, so she was pretty distraught.  We stayed out of her hair, went to town, checked e-mail, drank, and ate another mediocre meal.  Next morning, we headed out for a two-day stay at the foot of Mt. Cook, the tallest mountain in New Zealand.

 

Comments

1

Sounds like your weather has held good. Too bad about the food as I know what epicure's you two are and how much you (and we) delight in a good repast. Surely they even sticky pudding?

  Dr Old J Nov 17, 2010 2:58 PM

2

Vinnie and Anita: these posts are great! I'm really enjoying hearing about your adventures and following you on the map.

Steve: you really need to start proof-reading your comments.

  Maggie Nov 18, 2010 1:27 AM

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