'Tramping' In New Zealand travel blog

Jurassic Park, or a scene from LOST?

Just one cornetto....

It's a jungle out there

The whole crew

Nathan prepares for the ultimate D&D challenge

For breakfast we had pancakes - of course! - and then drove a short way out of Punakaiki to an area that could only be described as Jurassic Park. The West Coast of New Zealand benefits from the warm air coming across the Tasman Sea from Australia, so it is basically a lush rainforest (but also rather wet!). We set off on a short walk (it would've been longer but there had been so much rain that the river we were due to cross was flooded) along the valley, stopping every now and then to take pictures of the brilliant green vegetation. My legs were really stiff from the Nelson Lakes trek so I was glad that the weather had cut the walk short.

When we eventually got to the point of no return the sun was out so we stopped by the river for a while and played 'ducks and drakes' - well, that's what we used to call it when we were kids but nobody else seemed to have heard of it so I was obviously showing my age. For the youngsters amongst you we skimmed stones along the river's surface. Nathan proved to be a bit of a 'D&D hustler' and could skim almost any stone no matter how flat or how heavy....within reason!

We had lunch in Punakaiki and then headed south towards Greymouth (grey by name, grey by nature) and then Hokitika, where we spent a couple of hours. When we got to Okarito Beach House there was an amazing smell coming from the kitchen - the slow cooker was on and there was a Moroccan stew on the go for the meat-eaters. The beach house itself is amazing, with 3 bedrooms and a large living area with a very long dining table and high-backed chairs that made you look like a small child. Outside there is a rusty old tractor sunk into the ground and then there are various other buildings. Mendi has her own little cottage, so is definitely getting the benefits of the single supplement here. It's all really nicely decorated, with driftwood for headboards and an amazing NZ map mirror in Jack and Rachel's room. I would definitely stay here again.

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