Well as promised in my last blog we headed back down south to Ross in Westland to explore the local beaches. Talk about a super magic day.
Waking to a stunning winter West Coast morning we couldn’t have asked for better weather, with clear blue sunny skies and snow-capped mountains. Bit of a chill in the air with all the snow on the mountain tops but if it means a nice day we’ll take it thanks!
Can’t believe the views here – well actually I can – it is the West Coast after-all. This region has it all – mountains, native bush, lakes, rivers, sea….. need I say more – is there any more? It is one of the things I love about the West Coast – it’s range of diversity and sometimes all in one area.
Our walk starts at the end of Beach Road, a turn-off just before the Waitaha River, passing through the little settlement of Kakapotahi and coming out at the river mouth of the Waitaha River. The views from the river mouth are breathtaking – the Southern Alps caked in snow and Mt Cook and Mt Tasman – New Zealand’s two tallest mountains looming to the south.
The boys are super excited and love the feeling of sand “between their toes”. To expel some energy from them we play some games before we start our walk proper. Not sure who was having more fun – or at least who was making the bigger dick of themselves….. no comment really necessary thanks!
The beach heads north back towards Ross and we want to get to the end of the headland. Stephen thought there was a good surf break around this area and wouldn’t mind checking it out. The start of the headland is quite a way off in the distance so we drive down the beach 4WD track to get a little bit closer. Only a little bit, we’ve probably still got a good 3km walk ahead of us each way at least!
Parked up, I make the comment to Stephen – views for the cows really sucks!
Off we head. Timed it perfectly for the tides this weekend – currently low tide but even high tide isn’t particularly high so we’ve got plenty of beach to walk on without worrying about incoming tides and getting caught out. The sand is lovely to walk on but really soft so is actually quite hard going – a good work out for the legs. The dogs are happy enough having already had their play, just to walk beside us.
It would seem it isn’t just us making the most of the sunshine. We come across three seals as various stages of the walk enjoying basking in the sun. I manage to spot at least another two frolicking in the surf and catching the odd wave – maybe this is the surf break Stephen thought of after-all ha-ha.
Looming is a wonderful rock formation. On closer inspection it seems to be fossilized. Don’t know if that is the right description but it is certainly not a rock formation like I’ve ever seen before. Almost alive with tentacles and small crevices – I’d say it would be a geologists dream to investigate. I unfortunately don’t know enough about rock to tell you anything more than it looked seriously cool!
Lunch stop. Time to refuel – no bakery stop today, I’m super organised and have packed a homemade lunch – darn delicious too if I do say so myself. This log looks inviting and no a bad place to hang out for a few minutes.
Off again and we make our way to the end of the headland – can actually see a car parked way off in the distance at the Ross end of the beach. This is the end of the headland we wanted to access though so this is far enough for us – we still have to walk back yet! It is lovely to hear the birds chirping away in the bush from the cliffs beside us.
The walk back is probably even better than the walk out – as we come around the side of the headland we are once again afforded the fabulous views of the snow-capped Southern Alps with Mt Cook and Mt Tasman in all their magnificent glory.
My feet are getting a tad sore now though so off with the shoes. Now it is my turn to enjoy the feeling of sand between my toes.
With one final stop to soak up the views – look back to where we’re come and reflect on our afternoon, it is time to head for home. The drive back out the country farm track is jaw dropping but as lovely as it is I’m already thinking about which ice cream flavour to choose when we pass through Hokitika. All about priorities!
Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth. Together with their two faithful companions Nico and Ziggy they enjoy getting out and exploring the West Coast. The West Coast has been named by Lonely Planet as one of the top ten regions in the world to visit. Come and see why.