Monday, 2 February 2015

Dad and Anjas Adventure Week 2015

After last years Otago Rail Trail Trip Anja and I set our eyes on heading to Abel Tasman National Park to go sea kayaking but some silly old git goes and breaks his leg and turns that plan on it's head. So an alternative plan was decided upon about three weeks out waiting to see how strong my leg would be and what limits that would impose.

We had five days up our sleeve and great weather forecast for both sides of the South Island. We talked about doing an overnight hike ... Anja had done a few good day trips but never an over-nighter.

It wasn't hard to chose a couple of trips as a couple of my favourite wee hikes are over in the Paparoa Range and are great introductory trips. 

Anja also wanted to visit the newly open Tree Tops Walk just south of Hokitika over looking the stunning Lake Mahinepua, this man made walk way takes you around the trees at between 20 and 47 metres of the ground.

Fully mature Rimu trees about 400 years old with Anja standing at the bottom

Anja holding a Rimu sapling probably the same age as herself!
Part of the walk way and look out tower

The afternoon was spent looking around this walkway enjoying being upclose with the birds and looking at what grows in the tops of the trees.

The West Coast is a beautiful part of the world and you can't beat having a meal down the beach, so a pizza from Fat Pippis ...

In the morning it was time to load our packs and head to the start, This was to be Anja's first overnight trip where she needed to carry her own gear. We stopped at the Formly The Blackball Hilton for one last meal then drove up to the car park ... with this being Anja's first overnight camp and into wilderness back country ... there were a few nerves! So we talked about other challenges she has faced and how it may have some tough moments but the rewards were huge that feeling of satisfaction cannot be replaced.

Right Dad ... Let's go!

Snack time!

Snack time again!

Wow we are getting up there!

We here!

No internet here ... can't beat reading a book with that view!

Just over four hours up the hill to Ces Clarke hut, we chilled out taking in the view over the Gray Valley and Lake Brunner, Watching the sun set it was time for dinner ... You did bring dinner ... didn't you Dad? Whoops forgot to pack the main course! Bad parenting there haha! Fortunately we still had alot of cracker cheese and salami so we just filled ourselves on that ... I don't think I will live that one down for a while!

South Island Robin
 With a good nights sleep we packed up and headed back down the hill, three hours later, lots of chatting and we were back at the car.
Pancake Rocks
Lunch was back in Greymouth we drove up the coast to Punakaiki, where we enjoyed a nice dinner some chill out time and got to watch a west coast sunset, these are pretty special as the sun dips below the horizon line.

Anja at Punakaiki

Sunset at Punakaiki

This drive must be one of the most spectacular drives in the world ... I never tire of it!
West Coast

The next day saw us continue our road trip further north up to Tauranga Bay for some lunch and a walk out to the seal colony, before heading up the Buller Gorge then onto Reefton.

West Coast

Only in New Zealand ... Watch out for Penguins!

Walk at Charleston

Lunch at The Bay House Cafe Tauranga Bay

NZ Fur Seals at Cape Foulwind

Buller Gorge
Reefton is a quirky little town where you can get huge ice creams, great coffees and fresh goods from the bakery! The locals are friendly and let us in on where the local swimming hole was ... 31 degrees at 4 pm ... it was welcomed!

Swimming hole in Reefton very hot day very nice swim!

Our last day was to drive from Reefton back to Christchurch via Arthurs Pass on the way we stopped off at Waiuta, this is a ghost town, once a thriving gold town, with it's own hospital and two churches, it is slowly being overgrowing by native bush!

Old mining town at Waiuta

Brunner Mine Bridge
Another week of adventures was ticked off ... but more importantly a week of Dad and Daughter one on one time ... PRICELESS!!!

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