We have left Hanmer Springs after three relaxing days and Richard has taken us to the We(s)t Coast.
Going westwards we passed the old gold rush (and presently coal mine) town of Reefton.
Reefton's Broadway may not be as the one in NYC ...
... but it was the first street in the southern hemisphere to be illuminated by electrical bulbs. That happened already in 1888 ...
... and the old lampposts are still there.
During lunch in a local café we met the female incarnation of our long-gone dog Bilbo. A sweet rendez-vous.
Farther to the west we found a rusty exhibit of oldies.
We reached the coast of the Tasman Sea at Rapahoe and beach-combed a bit.
At about 3 p.m. we arrived at the Pororari trek and went for a 3-hour-walk in the magnificent valley with wild and super-lush rainforest all around us.
|The flightless Weka crossed our track while hunting cicadas.|
Ferns, palms, vines, trees, shrubs and herbs in all forms and sizes were everywhere and it was a genuine pleasure to be in this kind of rainforest with so many species, most of which were unknown to us.
|Kiekie (Freycinetia banksii).|
|Fruits of the Nīkau; (Rhopalostylis sapida), the only palm species native to NZ.|
|Tuurutu, Inkberry (Dianella nigra).|
. . .
We are presently accommodated in Te Nīkau Retreat in the middle of the rainforest and the rain is hammering down in torrents on the metal roof of our cabin. All is black outside and it is time to hit the bunk. It has been a wonderful and looong day.
. . .
Tomorrow morning we will visit the pancake rocks at Punakaiki and then head inland again.