Mountain biking Franz Josef – The Faultline Track

When visiting our friends in Franz Josef it is hard to go past a quick blat on the local mountain bike track – Faultline.

Faultline mtb track

This is a blast of a trail – ducking and diving, swooping and swaying.

Franz Josef faultline mtb track

Starting with a gentle gradient up through Franz Alpine Resort subdivision just north of the glacier village to skirt the top of the trail. Head down, pedal, pedal the top is near – let the fun begin.

jurassic park mtb track franz josef

Straight into the forest – dense NZ native rain forest with towering Rimu and Rata trees, ferns galore and all those good things that cling to our forests making them resemble something out of Jurassic Park.

onto bridge faultline mtb track  franz josef

This is a short trail but she packs a real punch – fast and flowing with trees to duck around and under, little bridges to negotiate and for the brave amongst us, a couple of structures to test you on.

Stephen on ribcage faultline mtb track frans Josef

ribcage faultline mtb track

Stephen flies over these with ease – me, well I haven’t quite plucked the courage to give them a go just yet.  It is silly as they’re not really that hard – I’ve biked worse, but I get to the top and perhaps if I just went for it instead of looking I’d be ok but given that the downward slope is slightly askew I chicken out each time – one day though, one day……

silly faces ribcage faultline mtb track franz josef

Just to prove a point Stephen makes faces at me as he comes down – cheeky!

in the bush franz Josef mountain biking

A few more swoops and we’re at the bottom ready for another lap – three laps in all for this ride and then it is time to head back to our friends to refuel the legs – nicely satiated after a ride amongst the dinosaurs.

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  They enjoy getting out and about exploring the West Coast and the many things it has to offer which is part of the reason it was named one of the top 10 destinations in the world to visit by Lonely Planet.



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Reflecting on a Great Walk – Lake Matheson

lake matheson reflections

With a recent visit to the glacier region of South Westland we headed out to Fox Glacier to do the walk around Lake Matheson.

Lake Matheson is possibly one of New Zealand’s most photographed lakes.  Renown for its reflections of Mt Cook and Mt Tasman, this photo appears in many New Zealand guide books.

reflections in lake matheson

I call it the elusive reflection photo or the million dollar photo.  To get those great reflections you need little or no wind and limited cloud over the mountains so you can actually see them.  Get it right though and yes she is a wowsy, a fantastic backdrop.

walking lake matheson track

admiring view lake matheson

It is a beautiful bush walk in itself, even if the reflections aren’t working on the lake.  There is something peaceful about walking through NZ native forest – our majestic trees – the Rimus and Ratas  high above and surrounded by numerous species of ferns.  The backdrop of the layers of bush and mountains  looming in the distance just all add to the atmosphere, reflections or not.

mountain reflections lake matheson

snow capped mountains lake matheson

Initially we didn’t think we were going to get the reflections with a little breeze creating just enough of a ripple.  Our timing was pretty much perfect though – late afternoon as the wind was dropping off – we just had to wait it out.  All good, we’ve got plenty of time and Stephen assures me he’s brought a head-light with him just in case……

mirror reflections lake matheson

The headlight wasn’t needed, we just stood and watched and waited.  The cloud formations were fantastic fanning across the mountain tops and toppling down the other side.  There had been a huge snow fall on the East Coast and you could tell with the colour of the clouds high above the mountains it was definitely snowing up there somewhere.

sundown lake matheson

evening reflections lake matheson

As the wind dropped we just had to contend with the bird life.  Who’d have thought!  Ducks enjoy this lake as much as the tourist traffic it would seem – but this is their home and they obviously had things to do and places to be, sliding gracefully across the water – leaving….. yes, a trailing ripple.  Thanks guys!  As the sun began to set though they found their nesting spots for the evening in amongst the reeds and the water turned more mill-pond like – just what we were waiting for.

sunset reflections lake matheson

The moon came up over the mountains – not quite the super moon but spectacular all the same.  Then as the sun set the colour started coming through and reflections were aplenty.  Click, click, click, click.  Going to be hard to choose which photos to use for this posting – oh the dilemmas we have LOL.

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  They enjoy getting out and exploring the many wonders of the West Coast.  With so much to see and do it is easy to see why The West Coast was named one of the top 10 regions in the world to visit by Lonely Planet.  Make sure you add it to your itinerary and take your time to soak it all up.


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Kowhitirangi Valley and Hokitika Gorge

Our Sunday drive was a drive less traveled – first round Lake Kaniere into the Kokatahi Valley and then going deeper inland to the Kowhitirangi Valley to finally arrive at the Hokitika Gorge.

Hokitika Gorge

Renown for its blue-green waters wedged between the solid rock face it is a draw card for many a tourist to the West Coast. For us today we didn’t quite get those nice colours as we’d had much rain of late and some dark skies above.  There were patches of colour coming through though, especially whenever the skies cleared and the sun poked her head out to say hello.

hokitka river and valley views

views to hokitika gorge swingbridge

It is a short walk through a beautiful podocarp forest, following a gravelled track initially where you come to a lookout point, looking back out into the lush farmland of the Kowhitirangi Valley and down into the deep ravine of the gorge.

Hokitka gorge walk

Then you weave your way around some curved board walks to come to the swingbridge over the water.

Rocks off Hokitika Gorge walk

Once on the other side, after a very short bush walk you come out onto the rocky outcrop that the river winds her way against.  Taking great care as the rocks are slippery, you can get out and sit in wonderment at this beautiful sight.  It is incredibly peaceful and serene – although we pretty much had it to ourselves so I’m sure it is perhaps not quite so peaceful on a busy day.

Hokitika Gorge and river

Still we’ll take what we got thank you and just enjoy the peace and quiet, listening to the running water, the trickling waterfalls and the fantails and bellbirds singing their songs.

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 of the West Coast – named one of the top ten regions in the world to visit by Lonely Planet.  We certainly know why.

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Sunday Drive – Kokatahi Valley

Sometimes there is nothing quite like taking a Sunday drive.  No walks – well none of any great exertion but just soaking up scenery, taking roads less traveled and discovering a part of the country you haven’t really seen before – even when it is in your own backyard.

kokatahi valley sunday drive

I’m sure we’re all guilty of it – those farm roads you see or back roads that might take a little longer to get you from A to B.

Our Sunday drive was down to Lake Kaniere,

Lake Kaniere reflections

around the back of the lake to Dorothy Falls

Dorothy Falls Lake Kaniere

and up into the Kokatahi Valley.

Kokatahi Valley mountain views

It was a stunning drive – a drive of contrasts with lake, river, mountain, native bush and lush farmland.  This is dairy farming country and how lucky are these farm animals!  What a place to call home.

misty mountains Kokatahi Valley

Kokatahi River and mountain views

The drive was also filled with ever-changing weather adding to the atmosphere of the views.

Forgotten relics Kokatahi Valley drive

Our ever observant photographer also found these little beauties hiding out – weathering the storm perhaps.

views to hokitika gorge swingbridge

Eventually we ended up at the Hokitika Gorge – yet another stunning area even deeper inland in the Kowhitirangi Valley.  This involved a short walk, our only real exertion for the day, but you’ll have to wait for the next installment for more on that……..

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  They enjoy getting out and about exploring the many wonders that help make up the West Coast of the Southern Alps, named one of the top ten regions to visit in the world by Lonely Planet – there is something for everyone.

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Doggy Good Fun on the Beach

ambling along nine mile beach greymouth

It was doggy good fun on our beach walk over the weekend.  Our friend Nina from Westport phoned to say she was going to be passing by and had adopted her first ever dog and was hoping our boys would like to meet her and have a play.  It was the boys turn to play host for a change.

Raewyn on Nine Mile beach Greymouth

Happy to meet her they were – hello Raewyn!  She is truly gorgeous, a golden lab/whippet cross.  Super adorable with fantastic manners for only seven months old.  Super happy to meet the boys who are always glad for some doggy company.

circle of fun nine mile beach greymouth

playtime Nine Mile beach Greymouth

dogs enjoyed run Nine Mile Beach Greymouth

dogs playing Nine Mile beach Greymouth

It was a blustery morning but no rain so we headed down to the beach for walk/run/play.  It was all on.  Nico our dalmatian loves all creatures that move so was happy for an energetic play date.  Going by the fact he then slept the afternoon away, I’m picking she may have worn him out!

Nine Mile beach walk Greymouth

Ziggy, our German Short-haired Pointer has had a sore paw of late so he spent most of the walk restrained on a lead so as not to aggravate the injury again – much to his displeasure.  Actually he is pretty good as he knows we are just looking out for him.  He had a bit of time off lead to play with Raewyn and was happy to run around too for a while.

Nine Mile Cave Greymouth

Everyone enjoyed the outing and I know Nina is going to make a great “Mum” to Raewyn.

Look forward to seeing you both back again real soon.

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  Together with their two dogs Nico the Dalmatian and Ziggy the German Short-haired Pointer, they enjoy getting out and about exploring and sharing the wonders of the West Coast of the Southern Alps.


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Craigieburn Ecological Area and Forest – Mountain Biking Unchartered Territory

aaaahhhh, biking through native forest into plantation forest and back into native forest.  Sun shining high in the sky above the mountain tops. Sometimes our job sucks, working in our outside office, but then someone has to do it I guess……….

Craigieburn Road mtb ride West Coast

Our latest assignment was exploring in the Craigieburn Ecological Area and Forest.  Situated inland from Greymouth on the Eastern side of the Paparora mountain range, heading north towards Reefton.  We’ve talked about doing this – well for years really.  Great to finally make the committment and head off on an adventure on our bikes into some unchartered territory.

Craigieburn Ecological area mtb ride West Coast

We really didn’t know what to expect.  We were hoping we could do a loop and looking at our map it kind of looked possible.  I say kind of as our map was about 8 years old and being that some of this area was forestry roads you can never be sure if the roads still exist or where they’ll actually end up.  Sometimes it can be quite frustrating as you know it is only a matter of a few hundred metres but if the road hasn’t been cut it can be dense forest you have to bash through and you just don’t really know for sure so best to stick to the formed roads.

mtb Craigieburn Ecological Area West Coast

It was a 4 wheel drive road/track the whole way starting out going through some farm land, then into the native forest and finally into plantation forest.  The section through the actual Craigieburn Ecological Area ie the native bush was absolutely beautiful.  With the sun filtering through the canopy of the trees and glistening on the foliage and undergrowth, it looked quite magical.

The track was a gradual climb – a nice gradient that slowly took us higher up into the valley towards the Paparoa Ranges. Leaving the native forest behind we soon entered the plantation pine forest.  There were some side tracks and we were continually consulting our map, fairly sure we were to just keep going up.  Eventually we met a track off to the right and the track we were on became quite overgrown with gorse bush.  After getting poked and prodded just a little too much we left our bikes and walked to see if this was actually going to take us anywhere.  It appeared we were heading back into native forest which did seem right according to the map but this track obviously hadn’t been used by vehicles for some time and not wanting to risk getting too many punctures – if any, we decided to head back the way we came.

mtb craigieburn road west coast

Heading down we spot one of the other tracks to the right (now on our left) and with vehicle tyre marks it looks like a good option for an explore.  Coming out of the trees it soon opens up into previously logged areas and towards the native bush again and closer to the Paparoa Ranges.  I have a good feeling…. I think I know where this is coming out….. yey, back at the top right before we headed into the gorse part of the track.  Now that was a nice little loop – not quite the loop we were looking at on the map but a good workout all the same, gradually climbing up again which means now we get to coast back down.

One more side track – this time to the right as we’re coming down.  Again looking on our map, assuming we’ve got the right track, this should bring us out further down the road closer to the car.  Why not – we’ll have a look anyway, just five minutes, ok five minutes more – surely…….. ok so maybe not.  Starting to run out of time now so better head back to where we at least know we are for sure on the map.  Two little boys are waiting “patiently” at home for their dinner……

forgotten relics craigieburn road West coast

A nice easy coast down, back into the native forest, passing a couple of forgotten relics along the way.  Not your usual forgotten relics – Stephen likes to call them bush art and these guys are huge!  Still they add to the atmosphere of the area and to the interest of the ride.

abandoned truck in the forest

It’s been a great day of exploring some unchartered territory – a great sense of adventure.  We only got lost a couple of times so we’ll deem that as a success! Home time now to feed the puppies and relax while watching the sun go down. Life’s hard living on the wonderful West Coast ……………….

Sunset off Breakers Boutique Accommodation Greymouth

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 of the West Coast of the Southern Alps.  Named one of the top ten regions in the world to visit by Lonely Planet – we certainly know why!






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Happy Birthday Greymouth – 150 years old

biking flood wall Greymouth

Happy birthday to Greymouth – 150 years old.

Birdseye view Greymouth Bar

On 22 July 1864 Reuben Waite, a storekeeper from Collingwood, crossed the Greymouth bar with 70 prospectors in a chartered paddle steamer.

DP1 Cafe Greymouth

He put his supplies ashore and opened the first store on the banks of the Grey River on what was to become the corner of Waite St and Mawhera Quay (this site is now occupied by DP1 Café – Deposit One).

Greymouth over the years has had its ups and down – gold and coal mining has prospered and slumped.

Miners Memorial Greymouth

There have been many hardships – mining tragedies, fishing tragedies, economic boom and bust but it is a resilient town fuelled by a strong community spirit.

Grey river, floodwall and Greymouth West Coast

Grey River and bridges

Often there is much negative talk about Greymouth, some even describing it as ugly – but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Surrounded by native bush on one side and the Tasman Sea on the other with the Grey River running down to the sea – it is a picture of beauty.

blaketown tiphead with southern alps view

The Southern Alps loom in the background and on a clear day you can see the might of Mt Cook and Mt Tasman off to the south.

Grey River reflections Greymouth

There are wonderful bush walks, world-class beaches, great surfing, mountain biking trails, gold and coal mining history, rivers for fishing – something for everyone.  Sometimes we just need to open our eyes to see what is right in front of us.

Main Street Greymouth

While the town centre may not have architecturally designed buildings it is an industrial town servicing the region of the West Coast with friendly locals and everything the region needs. Sprinkled amongst the modern-day jungle there are some beautiful art deco gems.

Greymouth night sky

Greymouth – there is no-where else I’d rather be.

Happy birthday Greymouth – we love you.

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  The Coastal drive has been named one of the top 10 coastal drives in the world by Lonely Planet and they named the West Coast as one of the top 10 regions to visit in the world.  Make sure you include a visit in your NZ itinerary, I am sure you won’t be disappointed.

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Greymouth Mighty Mud Challenge

Greymouth mighty mud challenge

Mud mud glorious mud nothing quite like it for cooling the blood

what greymouth mud challenge

So follow me, follow, down to the hollow and there let us wallow in glorious mud

girl power greymouth mighty mud challenge

Well if mud cools the blood like “The Hippopotamus by Flanders and Swann’s” song says, then there was plenty of blood being cooled with the Greymouth Mighty Mud Challenge held at On Yer Bike.  Perfect location, perfect conditions.  WET AND MUDDY!

all smiles greymouth mighty mud challenge

in the creek greymouth mud challenge

Much rain had fallen overnight ensuring all the mud holes were nice and muddy and lots of water where water was needed to be.  This was going to be exciting!

starting line greymouth mighty mud challenge

Great turn out of over 160 entrants – most just competing for fun and to help raise money for Breast Cancer Research.  Plenty of fancy dress which added to the hilarity of the morning.

leading man greymouth mud challenge

colourful greymouth mud challenge

Starting gun sounded and everyone was off.  First couple of holes and little hills – they were ok but then the fun began in earnest.  Hidden mud holes, sink holes, deeper than they looked holes – it was brilliant.  Of course we can say that we were spectators.

splash might mud challenge greymouth

muddy good fun Greymouth mighty mud challenge

No-one seemed put off by the obstacles along the way, tarps over water holes to clamber under, tyres to squeeze through to then end up in a water hole, mud slides, water being thrown to make them more wet or more muddy…. the list goes on.

out from the deep greymouth mud challenge

The muddier the better –

in the drink greymouth mud challenge

the wetter the better.

fun on the barrel greymouth mud challenge

There were barrels to clamber over in water holes.  Some looked for tactics to keep them out of the water……..

face planting greymouth mud challenge

others made a meal of it.  Hey why not – you’re already muddy and wet and it is only going to get worse! It was a course filled with continual surprises.

smiles greymouth mud challenge

Thing that stood out the most for me though would be the smiles and the laughter.  This was for a great cause and it looked like great fun.  Nothing better than having an excuse to get down and dirty.

fun greymouth mighty mud challenge

enjoying the Greymouth Mighty Mud Challenge

With the finish line in site, the smiles continued and I’m sure people had never been so pleased to be hosed down.

Huge congratulations to On Yer Bike Greymouth for the venue and to Greymouth Seaside Top 10 Holiday Park for organising this outstanding event to raise money for Breast Cancer Research.  Biggest congratulations though to all the competitors – muddy good fun!

greymouth might mud challenge fun

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  West Coast has been named one of the top ten regions to visit in the world by Lonely Planet.  Make sure you add it to your itinerary – and at 500kms long make sure you take your time to take it all in!




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West Coast Wilderness Trail – Upper Arahura Valley to Kumara

Another magical winter’s day on the West Coast – perfect for our guests Jules from Auckland and her son Max and his girlfriend Lauren from Melbourne.  They are doing a road trip, complete with bikes and skies so lots of adventures along the way – great way to see the country.

Jules, Max and Lauren wcwt

During their stay with us they wanted to experience some of the West Coast Wilderness Trail.  With it not 100% complete and limited time we wanted to ensure they saw the most scenic part without having to do any road riding.

guests leaving theatre royal hotel WCWT bike ride

Our Plan – ride it too!  Take two cars – leave our car at Kumara – Jules, Max and Lauren start their ride while we drive to the other end in the Upper Arahura Valley and leave their car there.  We would pass somewhere on the track and be able to swap keys.  This plan ensured Jules and family rode as much as the track as possible without having to do any doubling back.  Jules was also interested in the gold mining history of the region thanks to reading Eleanor Catton’s Luminaries – so this way they would drive through Kaniere and into Hokitika – lots of gold mining history to soak up.

Lake Kaniere reflections

Dressed for winter riding – it is the first frost for us at home and there is plenty of snow on the mountain tops so we know this ride will be cold.  It is an early start and passing by Lake Kaniere we have a compulsory stop for photographs.  Picture perfect and Stephen couldn’t resist.

mountain biking Upper Arahua Valley

biking Upper Arahua Valley WCWT

cowboy paradise WCWT mountain bike ride

Following Milltown Road to the Upper Arahura Valley car park we’re ready to head off.  It sure is beautiful up this valley.  The trail slowly winds it way up the hill-side heading towards Cowboy Paradise.  The views are magnificent – surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the beautiful blue of the river and gorgeous lush farmland.  This is farmland we’re biking through – and yes there are farm animals – big beautiful healthy looking cows.  Unfortunately can’t quite see them in the photos but they were mighty specimens and totally oblivious to us biking past them.

Mawhera Reserve west coast wilderness trail

MacPherson Creek suspension bridge west coast wilderness trail

On through a small section of forest – the Mawhera Reserve and this is like biking through Jurassic Park.  I love to let me imagination run wild, all the moss coating the trees and ferns hanging down – fantastic.  Then we’re onto the wonderful MacPherson Creek swingbridge – am impressive bridge over a deep ravine or gorge – beautiful what ever it is.  Yes that is frost you can see on the boards of the bridge!

biking along river west coast wilderness trail

We’ve then got quite a bit of 4WD road to follow.  Not a used road or well used road anyway and lovely being surrounded by all the snow-capped mountains.  Eventually we end up back on single track in the Kawhaka forest and following the Kawhaka river.  This is where we meet back up with Jules, Max and Lauren.  They are enjoying their experience and blown away with the trail – loving the amazing scenery and wilderness – perfect, just what we want to hear.

On a bit further and we choose this for our lunch spot.  Again organised today with a packed lunch – but we have a reward waiting for us back at the Theatre Royal Hotel in Kumara come the end of our ride…….. (you know you can count on me!)

reflections kawhaka water race west coast wilderness trail

Onwards – can’t stop for too long as it is jolly chilly.  The trail now winds its way following the Kawhaka water race for about 5kms.  Since leaving Cowboy Paradise we’ve had high cloud but now some patches of blue are coming back and pockets of sunshine to help warm us up a bit.  The water race gives some great, moody reflections.

boardwalk west coast wilderness trail

Another 4WD bush section, before we cross a winding boardwalk across the Loopline Road wetland and then we’re riding around the Kapitea reservoir lakes.  Gorgeous around here and with the cloud breaking up we are again afforded some amazing and dramatic winter reflections.

mountain reflections west coast wilderness trail

Not much further to go now – thank goodness as the legs are starting to get rather lethargic, it has been a long day in the saddle – well seems like it anyway and been incredibly cold.  Trust us to pick the coldest day so far this winter to go for a long bike ride!

mountain bikes outside theatre royal hotel kumara

All good though we soon enter the little historic gold mining town of Kumara – making a bee-line for the Theatre Royal Hotel, the end of our ride – hot chocolate and muffin most definitely in order. A near perfect day out in the saddle and great to experience more of the West Coast Wilderness Trail and better still to share it with our guests.

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth. Keen mountain bikers and hikers and with Stephen a photographer, they enjoy getting out and about and exploring the West Coast.  The West Coast named one of the top ten regions to visit in the world by Lonely Planet – make sure you add it to your list of places to visit and check out the West Coast Wilderness Trail.


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Walking the beaches of Ross

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.

mountain views ross beach walk

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!

views of southern alps ross beach walk

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.

ross beach walk with views to southern alps

Waitaha River mouth

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.

playtime with nico ross beach walk

playtime with ziggy ross beach walk

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!

jan, nico and ziggy enjoying beach walk with mountain views

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!

views for cows Ross beach

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.

Seal enjoying sunshine Ross beach

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.

fossilised rock on ross beach walk

fossilized rock on Ross beach walk

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 log Ross beach walk

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.

walking ross beach

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.

views mt cook and mt tasman ross beach walk

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.

Tasman Sea and Ross beach

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!

country road views ross

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.





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