If you mention South Westland most people think of glaciers – Franz Josef and Fox Glacier. These are great icons of the West Coast particularly of South Westland but there is so much more to offer in this beautiful part of the country.
Stephen and I are just back from a long weekend staying at Franz Josef. Our good friends Bernie and Gerard run Holly Homestead B&B located just on the outskirts of the village itself. Beautifully restored homestead and a great time to visit – both for us and them as it is a quiet time for both of us during the winter. Shame really as winter on the West Coast is when we get some of our best weather and this weekend was no exception. While the rest of the country was getting hammered with a severe snow storm and extremely high winds most of the West Coast was basking in glorious sunshine.
Afternoon of Day 1 we headed out to the little seaside village of Okarito. 12kms from the main State Highway back out to the sea. Often if there is cloud looming over the mountains, it can be lovely and sunny out at Okarito. Today was one of those days. Quite a bit of wind inland too but not at Okarito – very still and giving great reflections. The boys enjoyed a run on the beach and Stephen managed to capture some great photos as the sun disappeared for the day. I love Okarito with the lagoon and old boatshed.
Quite a bit of history here too but now just a sleepy little seaside village. Very peaceful and surrounded by such beauty – snow-capped mountains, lush rain forest and the might of the Tasman Sea.
Okarito – it is good to be back.
Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road – north of Greymouth, Northern West Coast. They love to get out and explore and enjoy sharing their discoveries. Follow their blog or check out their activities page of Breakers website for more ideas on things to see and do when you visit the West Coast of the Southern Alps.