We left the Adventure Inn in Marahau this morning and caught up with the Kiwi bus to start our journey along the West Coast of the South Island. Our time in Abel Tasman/Kaitereri was short, so I only had enough time to see the beach for a moment before we left.
Our next stop was one of my favorite scenic spots in New Zealand. Jared drove us to Lake Rotoiti to have a picnic lunch at the most picturesque lake I have ever seen. The water was freezing cold, but that didn’t stop four of our fellow passengers from jumping into the lake. Neither did the handful of eels swimming near the pier. The water was so crystal clear that you could see straight down to the bottom.
Most of the group had bread to feed the ducks and black swans, but I had a chicken, cranberry, and brie panini an hour prior so I just watched as a few passengers tried to scoop up the ducks for a photo. The lake was surrounded by beautiful snow-capped mountains. It literally looked like it came straight out of a postcard. New Zealand is filled with beautiful scenery but especially in the South. Sometimes when we are driving on the winding roads, I want to close my eyes and sleep, but I also don’t want to miss the landscapes that we pass.
We arrived in Westport around 5:30pm and checked-in to our hostel. Since it’s officially winter, the past few towns that we have visited have been pretty quiet. During the summer, businesses are booming with travelers from around the world. But the winter is typically quiet and tends to be cheaper, which helps my budget.
After dinner, we went to a small pub off the Main Street to watch the rugby match. For those that don’t know, rugby is a sport similar to “American football” minus the helmet and gear. Since most of the passengers on the bus are from England, they typically go for the Lions, who tonight played against the Maori All Blacks. It’s an interesting sport, but my favorite part is still when the NZ team perform the haka in the beginning.