12 Mile Beach Amble

12 mile beach stone stacking

You fill up my senses like a night in a forest, like a mountain in springtime like a walk in the rain, like a storm in the desert like a sleepy blue ocean – you fill up my senses come fill me again (thanks John Denver)

old building on the beach

Talking a walk around here definitely fills the senses – be it a walk in the forest or along the beach.  The smells, the sights and breathing in that fresh air – sensory overload.

12 mile beach and hamlet

We finished our day recently with a lovely amble along the 12 mile beach – just along from home but completely different to our beach at 9 mile.  One of the many things I love about the West Coast – miles and miles of coastline but all so different.

stone stacking 12 mile beach

Tide was heading out but it had been a week of really high high tides with not particularly low tides in comparison so we had to be careful of the odd incoming wave. Stephen used the time to get a little “arty”.

12 mile beach on the rocks

The boys were loving the beach amble too and getting out onto the rocks is always a favourite for them – Nico chomps away on the mussels while Ziggy does a spot of rock pool fishing.

12 mile beach tidal pools

There were some fabulous cloud formations and you could see a storm was brewing in the south and heading our way.  I think we might be in for a stormy night but it was nice to be enjoying the last of the day’s sunshine and catch the sun setting in the Tasman Sea.

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  They enjoy getting out and about with their two faithful friends Nico and Ziggy and enjoying this beautiful region they are lucky enough to call home.

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The Downtown Showdown – Life Education Charity Boxing

Jackie Thomas singing national anthem


downtown showdown boxing event

Stephen and I were lucky enough to attend the Downtown Showdown Boxing last night.

What a night – felt like I was in Las Vegas at a boxing tournament.  The atmosphere was electric.

congratulations boxing winner

We had a ringside table so birds eye view of all the entertainment.

Fabulous support by the local community to help raise money for the Life Education Charity Trust – teaching all about health and nutrition and how to make the right decisions to kids up and down the West Coast.

final fight downtown showdown boxing tournament

There were ten fights in all leading up to the main event between a former West Coast boxer Bowyn Morgan against a Christchurch boxer Shaun Colmore.

shocked parents downtown showtown boxing

downtown showdown boxing evening watching the fighting

We were at the table with the parents of Brett who was in fight number one.  To say there was a little tension at the table would be an understatement.

first fight downtown showdown

Great effort for first time boxing competition – all in the name of good fun and charity but proud parents at the end despite the anguish during the fight.

ladies fight downtown showdown

The night wasn’t all about the men and there were three women’s fights too.  These girls really showcased some great skills and strength.

ladies boxing downtown showdown

ladies fight downtown showdown boxing event

The last ladies fight between Megyn and Bree – just one word really fits the bill and that is Wow.  Talk about amazing athletes – skill, technique (and I’m obviously not a boxer!), fitness, strength, determination and most definitely bravery.  This was no holds barred – they both wanted to win and it showed.  Very very impressive display.

nervous friends downtown showdown

jubilation downtown showdown

While the main entertainment was obviously in the ring there was plenty of entertainment in the crowd too with the supporters – both the anticipation and the jubilation, sometimes I didn’t know where to look.

fighers downtown showdown

strike downtown showdown

Nine fights later, interludes for dinner and auctions to help raise further monies and it was finally time for the main event.

downtown showdown boxing charity evening

Morgan is the four-time NZ elite men’s amateur national boxing champion and his opponent Colmore is predominately a MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighter.  Both fighters reside in Christchurch but Bowyn Morgan is orginally a West Coast boy so there was a lot of local support.

main event downtown showdown

Have to say these two are very very impressive specimens………

boxers at downtown showdown

You could honestly see their strength and athleticism practically oozing out of them.  There were times I had to look away due to the force of the hits but they weren’t fazed.  I know they are conditioned for this – this is what they do for a living but shit (sorry!).

main event boxers downtown showdown

What an amazing night

main event fighters downtown showdown

all the glitz and glamor and adrenalin from both the competitors and the spectators.

glitz and glamor downtown showdown

A huge thanks has to go to all the volunteers – the waiting staff, the security, the medical staff, the bouncers, and most importantly the organisers – Alan Monk you and your team did an amazing job.

Final words

the winner downtown showdown

Las Vegas eat your heart out!

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  They enjoy getting out and about and exploring the region and supporting local events.

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A Walk of Contrasts in Charleston

Pakahi track Charleston

Our West Coast scenery never ceases to amaze me and our latest walk was no exception.

With much rain of late we were all desperate to get out in the fresh air and have a good leg stretch.

Nina and Raewyn under the rimu tree

Initially thinking of heading somewhere north of Westport, we contacted our friend Nina for some suggestions.

dogs and Nina enjoying the views Charleston walk

With three dogs amongst us we needed a safe walk where they could run freely and Charleston was the pick of the day.

What a pick it was.  Nina’s home away from home so while she was our hiking buddy for the day she was also our guide showcasing one of her favourite trails.

Charleston bush walk

interesting flora and fauna Charleston walk

This was a trail of contrasts – continually changing terrain, not just the scenery but the whole make-up of the walk – the vegetation, the fauna, the flora, the floor – it was quite mind-blowing.

water race relics Charleston bush walk

history in the forest charleston walk

Predominately we were following an old water race from the gold mining hey-day so there was plenty of history hidden in amongst the vegetation as well.

out of the tunnel charleston bush walk

I say following the water race – there were a couple of times we were in the water race, stooped over to fit through a couple of tunnels – all good fun.


Everyone was happy to have a little rest mid walk – Nina bless her breaks out the billy and whips us up a latte!

views to water race lake charleston

I’m harping on here but this trail had everything – vistas to die for with views of gorgeous lakes

views to the sea charleston walk

and out to the Tasman Sea and coastline,

beautiful rim tree charleston

and yes more of our beautiful native bush complete with Rimu trees galore.

changing terrain charleston walk

slippery slope down Charleston walk

Welcome to my world
Won’t you come on in
Miracles I guess
Still happen now and then

entering the tunnel charleston walk

log crossing on Charleston walk

Step into my heart
Leave your cares behind
Welcome to my world
Built with you in mind

admiring tree roots charleston walk

walking amongst the greenery West Coast walk

Knock and the door will open
Seek and you will find
Ask and you will be given
The key to this world of mine

Charleston bush walk

colours of green Charleston walk

I’ll be waiting here
With my arms unfurled
Waiting just for you
Welcome to my world

views to tasman sea and coast line

Thanks Jim – couldn’t have summed it up better – welcome to our world, our backyard –  and most importantly thanks to Nina and Raewyn for sharing part of their piece of our slice of paradise that is the wonderful West Coast.

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  They enjoy getting out and about and exploring the many wonders that are the West Coast of the Southern Alps.

Posted in beaches, dogs, German Shorthaired Pointer, Nature, NZ flora and fauna, NZ history, outdoors, photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Runanga Volunteer Fire Brigade Open Day

Runanga Fire Bridge photos

Runanga Fire Brigade

Stephen headed into Runanga – Home of Champions to capture the Runanga Fire Brigade Open Day.

setting up hose display runanga fire brigade

hose display runanga fire brigade

A wonderful display of what it takes to be a modern fire fighter.

kids playing runanga fire brigade open day

runanga fire brigade volunteers

There was something for everyone and there was a great turn out to show support as these guys (and girls!) are all volunteers.

kitchen fire display runanga fire brigade

kitchen fire display runanga fire brigade open day

The displays were fantastic – both interesting, fascinating and a learning experience.  What not to do in the case of a kitchen fire – don’t put water on burning oil!

car accident display

fire brigade car accident display

fire brigade car accident display

and we all know with our fire brigades it not just about putting out fires but their expertise is also required at car accidents.

preping for fire display

runanga fire brigade open day show

Runanga fire brigade display open day

and not to be forgotten they are there in the ready for chemical spills too.

future volunteer fire fighter

These guys do a fabulous job – they are all volunteers and this was a great day out showcasing a variety of their skills.  The open day for the Runanga Fire Brigade wasn’t just to give the locals a day out it was a drive for volunteers.  Often taken for granted until we need them.  Well done guys – we sure appreciate the great job you do.

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  They enjoy getting out and supporting local events.

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The Calm in the Storm – a walk on Nine Mile Beach

After a night of heavy rain and rain and drizzle on and off for most of the morning yesterday, it was great to see clearing skies and sunshine late afternoon.

views Nine Mile beach from under the rock

There was no encouragement needed to head down to the beach for a good leg stretch.

enjoying the sunshine Nine Mile beach

They say what a difference a day makes and for this walk it was more like a difference a couple of hours makes – turned out stunning.

Jan and the dogs under the rock Nine Mile beach

The beach had changed dramatically from our walk just two days earlier.  The power of the surging surf moving all the stones and sand. Nico and I enjoyed just sitting and watching the waves roll in – Ziggy was busy doing other things, look closely and you’ll see him – well part of him.

Rock and drips Nine Mile beach

It was so nice to get out in the sunshine and it’s hard to beat a simple walk on the beach.

The boss Nine Mile beach

Had to include this one – “the boss” says Stephen – and he put it on social media so it’s official – just thought I’d spread the word further lol

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  The West Coast of the Southern Alps – for world-class beaches, native forest, history galore, mountains, lakes, rivers……. named by Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2014 as one of the top 10 regions to visit in the world.

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Grey River at It’s Moody Best

The West Coast just got pummelled by a storm complete with heavy rain

Tasman Sea and breakwater Cobden

Did I mention heavy rain

Grey river and floodwall looking up valley

A break in the deluge gave Stephen a chance to get some photos of the Grey River at her best

Well maybe not her best but looking very full and very dramatic

Tasman Sea and breakwater from Greymouth Surf Club

The clouds were still hanging around the mountains, the town, the sea – so ok, still plenty of dark skies looming but that’s what made it all so moody

Grey River mouth from Blaketown

Moody at the Grey River bar at Blaketown

Grey River and Cobden bridge

under the Cobden bridge

Greymouth marina after a storm

and of course in the Greymouth Marina

Hard to believe but we did actually get some blue skies and sunshine later in the afternoon, but you’ll just have to trust me on that and wait for my next blog…..

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  They love the West Coast and the variety of scenery and weather it offers.


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Biking the Mahinapua Walkway – West Coast Wilderness Trail

oh it’s good to be back on the bike again and what a perfect day for it – sunshine, no wind, absolutely lovely.

forest of green Mahinapua walkway

We’re sampling some more of the West Coast Wilderness Trail – a cycle trail from Greymouth to Ross but easily broken into sections depending on your time available and fitness levels.

The Mahinapua walkway is part of the Hokitika to Ross section and we’re starting at the Woodstock end heading through to Hoki end and then back again – a nice easy in and out.

Did I mention it’s a stunning day – little chilly but it is autumn after-all and we have perfect riding conditions.

Mahinapua walkway West Coast Wilderness Trail

The Mahinapua walkway is actually an old tram line so very gentle incline to the middle in each direction really.  It starts through dense rain forest – part of the Mahinapua Scenic Reserve and scenic it most definitely is.

sawmill history Mahinapua walkway

It is a fabulous trail of stunning varying West Coast scenery topped with fascinating history from the sawmilling days.  There are plenty of relics on route and interpretation panels to give you a better feel for the days gone by.

forest block Mahinapua sidetrack

We take a little detour on a hidden side track and enter an old plantation forest – slowly being taken back over by the native forest.  It is a 4WD track,  climbing gently then meanders along the top before the gentle decline back to meet with the walkway.  It adds probably a couple of kms to the ride but only cuts out about 5oo metres of the walkway trail.

Mahinapua walkway West Coast Wilderness trail boardwalk

boardwalk Mahinapua walkway

Back on the trail and we reach the Mahinapua creek.  This section is a rather long boardwalk that crosses the creek as it meanders down the valley.  It is stunning through here and with little wind gives some great reflections.

bridge across Mahinapua creek

We finally reach the Hokitika end and the start/finish of the trail is a gorgeous old wooden bridge spanning the creek.  Again fantastic reflections and I love the vegetation around here – a great mix of marshland scrub and native shrubs and trees.

Picnic spot Mahinapua walkway

Time to turn back but not before a little detour through to “Picnic Spot”.  This is a short side trail on the track that takes you to the lake edge.  For some it is best to leave the bike and walk as it has some quite technical riding with lots of tree roots, rocks and little drop offs.

Stephen riding the trail Mahinapua walkway

It was a fun little detour – we enjoyed the challenge but were responsible when it came to the last section and walked down to the lake edge.

bikes in the forest Mahinapua walkway to picnic spot

I know – I think the bikes might have been happy for the rest here too……

oh it’s good to be back on the bike again.

The West Coast Wilderness Trail – another section done.  Something for everyone so make sure you include it on your list of things to do when you visit the West Coast of the Southern Alps.

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  They enjoy getting out and about and exploring the many wonders that help make this region so special.


Posted in cycling, Mountain biking New Zealand, Nature, NZ flora and fauna, NZ history, outdoors, photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments