New Zealand

Travel Update: Road Trip With Dad (Part One)

March 2, 2016
Nelson Lakes National Park

It’s been a while since I’ve posted because I was lucky enough to have my dad spend two weeks here in New Zealand with me! I’m back at it and ready to spill the beans on what we were up to.

We took two mini road trips and the first one was the around the top half of the west coast on the south island.

Day One: Nelson Lakes, Murchison and the Buller River

On our first day, we headed down to Nelson Lakes, where we quickly discovered the bees were having some sort of party and wanted us to join in. What color are bees attracted to? Blue. What color was I wearing? Blue. Anywho – we walked along and enjoyed the gorgeous weather and scenery.

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After Nelson Lakes, we drove a bit further to Murchison and spent the night at Riverside Holiday Park, a campground next to the Buller River. The owners of the campground were from Hawaii and have lived in New Zealand for 20 years.

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Before we left the next morning, we went for a leisurely walk over the swing bridge and through the rainforest near the Buller River. We took the “comet line” back to the other side, which is basically a seated zipline. I’m a bit gun-shy after bungee jumping so the idea of sliding high above a river with sharp rocks at the bottom sounded horrifying. After the initial panic of being sent off edge, I realized it’s not really terrifying at all and I was being a big baby.

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Day Two: Greymouth and Punakaiki (Pancake Rocks)

We made our way down to Greymouth and spent about an hour there. It’s a pretty small town with not a lot to do. We stopped at the beach and took some photos. Riveting, I know.

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Next we drove up to Punakaiki, ONE OF THE COOLEST PLACES IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. We got to see the famous pancake rocks and, of course, I was freaking out because the earth creates some damn good masterpieces.

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Our campground, Punakaiki Beach Camp, was right in between a beautiful beach and rainforest terrain. I went for an evening stroll and had a little walking dance jam sesh since I was close to the only one on the beach. Who am I kidding – I probably would have done the same if the beach was packed.

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The next morning we went for a walk along the Pororari River, which was INCREDIBLE. This area reminded me of Australia – it was probably connected to Australia a zillion years ago when there was just one continent. *Cue me freaking out again and jumping up and down.*

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Day Three: Karamea and Buller River (Round 2)

Karamea actually spooked me a bit, it’s a teeny tiny town at the end of the road. A few of the great walks begin here. We stayed at the Karamea Holiday Park but do much other than eat and sleep. Unfortunately, I was feeling pretty sick so we decided to head back early.

On the way home we stopped in Murchison to get a little jet boating action with Buller Canyon Jet. Owner Mark is a truly fantastic individual and made the experience personal for everyone in the boat. He also has a 99% on Trip Advisor, how is that even possible?! I might’ve had a few mini heart attacks during one of his super speedy 360-degree spins but I survived so it’s all good.

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Almost every person we met thought my dad and I were a couple so, as you can imagine, we had many interesting conversations along the way. This included a ‘psychoanalyst’ (still not sure if she actually was a psychoanalyst or just a crazy lady who did a lot of internet research) who decided to ask the most personal questions and dig into our relationship. Life is hilariously awkward and uncomfortable – but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Next post on our time in Takaka and Abel Tasman National Park is coming soon – wahoo!

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