We’ve recently had a few days in the deep south of South Westland – Haast staying at the beautiful Collyer House. A gorgeous bed and breakfast located in idyllic bush surroundings with a backdrop of native bush, lush farmland and views to Okuru Estuary and out to the Tasman Sea – picture perfect and a great place to base ourselves to explore this beautiful region of the West Coast.
A trip to Haast wouldn’t be complete without taking the drive to Jacksons Bay – literally the end of the road. Just under 50kms from Haast following the edge of ancient rain forest, including tall Kahikatea trees and magnificent Rimu. It is a sight to behold.
We cross numerous rivers all lined with white bait stands, sitting dormant currently and waiting patiently for the return of the season when there will be a hive of activity – how different the rivers will look come Spring!
Autumn is the perfect time to visit this region with generally settled weather – for us we had blue sunny skies and hardly a breath of wind making for some spectacular reflections in the river beds.
A compulsory stop is required after crossing the one-lane bridge across the Arawata River. The turquoise blue water glistening in the sunshine is calling our name and it is so lovely down by the river bed.
Onwards again, following more native bush and we round the bend to follow the final 5kms along the coastline to our destination. One side hugs the towering mountains with the other side having the lapping of the sea. It is a sight to behold as the road winds its way along to lead us into Jacksons Bay.
Our arrival is timed to perfection with a fishing trawler coming in to dock. I’m not sure what they were actually coming in for – perhaps just to refuel as nothing was unloaded but we still enjoyed the spectacle.
While a trip to Haast wouldn’t be complete without taking the drive to Jacksons Bay, a visit to Jacksons Bay wouldn’t be complete without a stop at The Craypot. A colourful quirky caravan style cafe right on the waterfront. Super friendly staff and delicious fresh food – predominately all thing seafood. Was so good we did the road trip again the next day for another feed of fish n chips! If you’re visiting NZ and see Blue Cod or Orange Roughy on the menu – go for it, you won’t be disappointed…… my mouth is watering again just at the thought of it.
Jacksons Bay is a committed detour from the main touring highway but is a seriously worthwhile detour if you have the time. With its turquoise clear blue waters to welcome your arrival you’ll feel like you’ve entered another world not just another part of this gorgeous country Stephen and I are lucky enough to call home.
Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth. They enjoy getting out and about and exploring the West Coast – and at 5oo odd kms long there is plenty of exploring to do.