Aaaaah, the West Coast. It seems we did have to go the long way around, to finally arrive where we knew we’d love to be.
And facing winter in Southland may have made it all the nicer to arrive. It felt like layers and layers of cold and darkness were peeled off us in an instant once we’d come over Haast Pass. We jumped out of the bus just past the pass to see a waterfall, and it felt like stepping into luke warm water. These rainforests in all shades of green blow my mind every time.
West Coast, you warm, lush, rugged, awesome beast.
We stopped at Bruce Bay, and the sweet sea smell and mild wind made me realize again: you can’t capture this in picture or text, you just have to be there and experience it. It must be a combination of wilderness, big seas and mild climate that makes this New Zealand’s supreme region for me over and over again.
We stayed at Franz Josef at the aptly named Rainforest Retreat for a few nights. Tree ferns and dense forest outside the window and snowcapped peaks above; this may be my favorite campground yet.
Days are getting longer and for the first time in months we didn’t need to heat the bus over night. I can only imagine our weeks and months ahead, being barefoot without cringe, getting into our beachy outside life in the sun.
Bring on summer!